Athletics: Distance great Gebrselassie elected Ethiopia athletics chief

Sun Nov 6, 2016 8:51am EST
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By Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Distance running great Haile Gebrselassie has been elected president of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation, as the country grapples with doping issues and poor results on the track.

Ethiopia, which alongside neighbor Kenya has for many years dominated distance running, had its credibility questioned earlier this year when six of its athletes came under investigation for doping.

It subsequently announced that it would carry out tests on up to 200 athletes.

The east African nation is also struggling with a slump in form and won a single gold medal at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August, its poorest haul since 1992.

Amid discontent over mismanagement, Ethiopia's track body held a closed-door assembly and elected Gebrselassie as its chief late on Saturday.

"I feel so honored to be elected president of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation! Will work on a great future for Ethiopian athletics," Gebrselassie said on his Twitter account.

In August, Gebrselassie said the whole athletics set-up "needed a revamp".

Gebrselassie, considered one of the sport's greatest distance athletes, gave up competitive running in March last year.   Continued...

Athletics - Great CityGames Manchester 2015 - Manchester - 10/5/15
Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie waves as he approaches the finish line at the end of the Morrisons Great Manchester Run, during an interview afterwards he announced his retirement 
Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Boyers