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Kenenisa Bekele’s Ethiopian Suspension Lifted

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jan. 25, 2012
  • Updated Jan. 25, 2012 at 12:33 PM UTC
Kenenisa Bekele is now cleared to compete for Ethiopia in London this summer. Photo: PhotoRun.net

He had been punished for not reporting to a training camp.

One of the world’s most successful distance runners, Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia, now has a green light to compete again. In a strange move, the Ethiopian Athletics Federation suspended him and 34 other top-class runners for not reporting to a pre-Olympic training camp.

“We have agreed to discuss all the matters concerning their problems,” said Ethiopian Athletics Federation president Bisrat Gashawten Tirfe .

Bekele was a double gold medalist in the 5,000m and 10,000m events in the 2008 Olympics.

Tirunesh Dibaba on the women’s side was similarly suspended.

“Kenenisa is our hero and we have great respect for him, but the rules don’t discriminate,” Ethiopian Athletics Federation spokesman Fikru Tekele said. “To ensure results in London we should be tight, control them and protect them from injuries.”

Bekele’s agent, Jos Hermens, said his athlete was extremely angry at the suspension and even thought about changing nationalities. Hermens noted that the training camp has a hard Mondo track that could increase Bekele’s chances of injury.

For More: ESPN

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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