Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ethiopian federation lifts suspension on Bekele, others



 BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BRUSSELS — The suspension of Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele and 34 others was lifted Tuesday, clearing the way for the Ethiopian great to run at the London Games.

Ethiopian Athletics Federation president Bisrat Gashawten Tirfe told The Associated Press by telephone that “we have agreed to discuss all the matters concerning their problems.” The athletes were suspended last week for not reporting for an early pre-Olympic camp to improve performance.

Bekele won the 5,000 and 10,000 meters at the Beijing Olympics and holds the world record in both events. He was suspended along with Tirunesh Dibaba, winner of the two long-distance women’s titles in Beijing.

The suspension would have prevented them from running at this year’s Olympics.

Under the agreement though, the federation said all athletes would still have to report to camp in the future, despite calls from Bekele to be allowed to continue individual training.

Federation spokesman Fikru Tekele said the 35 athletes have agreed to “fully follow” the federations training, without any exceptions.