Gebrselassie told to obey Ethiopian rules for Beijing – Tsegaye Tadesse (Editing by Jack Kimball and Sonia Oxley), Reuters

March 14th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – World record holder Haile Gebrselassie cannot opt out of the Beijing Olympics marathon and must follow Ethiopian sports rules, the country’s athletics federation said on Friday.

Gebrselassie, who suffers from exercise-related asthma, told Reuters this week he would not run the 42.195-km event because he feared Beijing’s air pollution was a threat to his health. (more…)

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – World record holder Haile Gebrselassie cannot opt out of the Beijing Olympics marathon and must follow Ethiopian sports rules, the country’s athletics federation said on Friday.

Gebrselassie, who suffers from exercise-related asthma, told Reuters this week he would not run the 42.195-km event because he feared Beijing’s air pollution was a threat to his health.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said his withdrawal was fully justified and that no one could force him to compete but the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) said the decision was not his to make.

“It is not up to Haile Gebrselassie to decide on participation in the marathon event in Beijing,” EAF technical director Dube Jillo told Reuters in an interview.

“It is the Ethiopian Athletics Federation, representing the nation, that determines whether Haile is fit to compete in the marathon event in Beijing’s Olympics or not.”

The twice Olympic 10,000 meters champion, who will attempt to qualify for the 10,000 in Beijing, is one of a long list of athletes and officials to have voiced concern over pollution in the city.

Dube’s remarks on Friday seemed to contradict a statement he made on Monday saying that it would be Gebrselassie’s own choice whether to run in the marathon or 10,000 meters.

IOC President Jacques Rogge has said the long-distance events could be rescheduled if conditions were too bad. A BBC report quoted Gebrselassie as saying he would consider running the marathon if the venue were changed.

Gebrselassie was not immediately available for comment.

Dube said a team of doctors and officials would decide whether Gebrselassie was fit to compete in the event.

“The federation will start selection of the country’s athletic team at the end of April based on criteria to qualify, which takes athletes’ current performances and conditions into consideration,” he said.

  1. Yashiqu
    | #1

    I don’t think that Haile said he is not fit, rather he says the polution is a threat for his health and his future career. (Mr.?) Dube from where did you get the statement to say so? Though it’s up to him to decide I wish Haile change his mind…. Other wise the song by Teddy Afro will turn out to be a curse!

  2. fish
    | #2

    tigree why don’t you run your self. the eritrean at list have zeresenay

  3. Tigist
    | #3

    I don’t even know what to say about Weyannes stupidity. Now, the whole world knows that Haile is not interested in Beijing Olympic just because of his health. However, the Chinese didn’t like that for their image and trying to deal the issue through Weyannes. Weyannes get one more chance to prove to the whole world how moron they are.

  4. | #4

    nobody has no right to insult any body shabia,woyanne,kiggit.etc…you name it insult each other is not a solution OK!!!! don’t be ignorant
    Thank you

    | #5

    I think the identities as “Shaebia” or “Weyane” were not given to be an insult.
    It is a legitimate name given to those who fought and sacrifice their souls for the cause.
    It was and still is identification or names chosen by them. So I don’t see why you name people for they called the groups by their names, chosen by nobody else but themselves?
    Why is any body ashamed to be called by its name? Here the question comes, are the chosen names stand for their good deeds or EVIL? I leave the choice for you brother to chose.
    After saying that, the issue of H/Gebreselassie is really hot.
    Yes he is a national hero and beyond that an African hero, an icon of Ethiopia!
    He should have his absolute right to decide about his health condition if he feels that his Asthma condition has been worsened. Fore sure his personal physician is the one who can check his condition than anybody of us out there.
    And still the respected athlete, who suffers to cover the 43 hard Kilo meters, should have the binding decision on his fate in the coming Olympics. Politics should not over rule and send our beloved athlete by sacrificing his health!Or even respected athletes don’t have their human rights in Ethiopia, as it is true with the mass media, Journalism, Judiciary system etc? Sad story, I think every minimal possible human right is denied in Ethiopia.
    That is my personal opinion on this issue.
    Thank you

    | #6

    Teddy Afro’s songs have been blessings to millions of Ethiopian people both at home and Diaspora and always remain to be blessing!
    You know Haile Gebre Selassie is known as the “Emperor” abroad? That nick name was given to honor his hard work on the 5000Kms, 10000kms spectacular and repeated wins in the world arena. I is the Same with Kenenisa, remember “Kenenisa yegna Ambesa”?,
    Same to our heroines: Dibaba, Tirunesh, Meseret and all other un mentioned athletes of Ethiopia who are repeating the legacy of Abebe Bikila, Mamo Wolde, Miruts Yifter and all other respecte athlets. Yashiqu for the enemies of Ethiopia this all achievements are nightmares, they don’t like them, but to tell you the truth these people are respected not only in Ethiopia but the whole of Africa and the world!
    Ethiopia has got lots of Lions in other spheres too,and sadly still immersed in deep misery thanks to her enemies.
    It is like the saying in our country:
    “Ambesa siarej ye zimb mechawecha yehonal”
    But remember we have also got another sayings like: “Der biaber Ambesa yaser”
    I wish one day the Ethiopian lions stand on their feet and start to roar!
    Long live our athletes!
    Go, Go, Teddy Afro Go!

  7. gemoraw
    | #7

    from the begning of bejing we lost one gold.that is his right.nobody can enforce haile to run.nobody knows his status rather than him.but I am also dont wanna to see him when resing with Kennenisa on 10000m will be a kind of brother hood fight.any ways we wish good things for all Oromo runners on the olympics!!

    God bless OROMIYA Africa!!

  8. Selomon
    | #8

    I am not interested in sportman politician.

    | #9

    Yes the Oromo people are the majority in Ethiopia.Yes sadly enough the oromo people had been oppressed by the monarchy regime in history, like many other ethnic groups experienced.Yes the Oromos as people consist of the main basis of Ethiopian population.
    But you have to remember millions of other ethnic groups were and are intermingled with the Oromo people and they feel to be Oromians in part and Ethiopians in general. The idea of “Oromia” was great if it really was meant to helped the Oromo people indeed, but again sadly enough the oromo people are the once, but not the only who lost and hardly hit. Remember what previous TPLF minister of defense “Siye Abreha” wrote?It sounds like the following:
    “the Ethiopian prisons talk Oromifa”.
    Yes if it was not for the “Oromia leaders” who had, and still are being used by the enemies, Ethiopia as one united country would have come triumphant and be a strong one.
    Thanks to the division among those who call themselves as the “Oromo leaders”, and be used by the deadly foe of Ethiopia as a whole and Oromos in particular are hit hard.
    Thanks to the “Oromo leaders” who lead the people to the wrong direction Ethiopia is in deep misery. The solution now is UNITY and get upper hand on the sworn enemy and defeat them.

    All Oromo parties unite!
    Ethiopian unity first, then “Oromian autonomy”!
    Don’t allow the enemy to divide us and rule!

    Ethiopia shall prevail!

  10. Kasu
    | #10

    If they want him to run in china Olympic game,they should pay him good sum of money for he is going to face the harsh envaroment of China’s city.When it comes to decision to go or not,it is clear who decide things in Ethiopia.The regime decide not the people!

  11. shaleka
    | #11

    Let the Zibbra do what he know best, but keep him out of politics.

  12. kendie
    | #12

    What a country !!? Today’s Ethiopia, human wrights abuse taking its free toll on its people, our time’s Nero Claudius Caesar Meless became 80 millions slaves uncontested master.

    Haile Gebreselassie don’t run this Beijing Marathon, representing this illegal, occupying junta, that is killing our people, its your undeniable right to run or not. Your health is our asset, all genuine Ethiopian truly care about you. Even if they dare to throw you in jail for that, they will see afterward the consequence; maybe you will spark the final battle for their demise.
    Remember the Marathon founder the ancient Greek hero PHLIPIDIS run for the cause of peace.

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