Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 19th 2016 Contents ADDIS ABABA---Kenenisa Bekele won t compete at
next month s Olympics, perhaps the distance running
great s last chance at the games, after he was left
off Ethiopia s final team for failing to meet the coun-
try s qualifying criteria in both the marathon and
the 10,000 metres.
Bekele, the world-record holder in the 5,000 and
10,000, had appealed his exclusion in the marathon
but the Ethiopian Athletics Federation released its final
list for the Rio de Janeiro Games over the weekend,
confirming Bekele s absence.
Bekele was first denied a place in the marathon
when the federation said he hadn t run enough big
races over the last year to meet the selection criteria,
which have been criticised by Bekele.
Bekele then made a late attempt to get on the team
in the 10,000. He failed to finish the race at a trials
event in Hengelo, Netherlands, last month.
Almaz Ayana, Ethiopia s rising star, was selected to
run in the women s 5,000 and 10,000 in Rio. She ll
come up against compatriot and double Olympic
champion Tirunesh Dibaba in the 10,000. Dibaba was
only named as a reserve for the 5,000, an event in
which she is a former Olympic champion, two-time
world champion and the world-record holder.
The 24-year-old Ayana is the current world cham-
pion in the 5,000 and ran the second-fastest time in
history over the distance last month in Rome, just
missing Dibaba s record by a little over a second.
Ethiopia s other strong medal contender is Tirunesh s
sister, Genzebe Dibaba, the world champion and world-
record holder in the 1,500. Former world champion
Mohammed Aman is Ethiopia s lone hope in the men s
Bekele didn t even make it as a reserve for the
marathon or the 10,000, meaning at the age of 34
the four-time Olympic and five-time world champion
could be unlikely to compete at a future games.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, July 19, 2016
runner Zivile Balciunaite has been
banned for eight years after testing
positive for meldonium in April.
The Athletics Federation of Lithua-
nia said yesterday that the 37-year-
old Balciunaite is banned from all
competitions with immediate effect
and will not represent the Baltic
country at the Rio de Janeiro
Balciunaite denied any wrongdo-
In 2010, she won gold in the Euro-
pean Championship but was stripped
of her medal after failing a doping
test because of excessive levels of
testosterone and epitestosterone.
Balciunaite gets 8 years after failing test
Bekele left off Ethiopia's Olympic team
In this 2004 file photo, Kenenisa Bekele, of Ethiopia,
celebrates his gold medal during a victory lap after
the 10,000m at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens,
Greece. AP PHOTO
Russian government officials
engineered the drug-fueled corrup-
tion of 28 Olympic sports, an inves-
tigator found, prompting the World
Anti-Doping Agency to call for a ban
of the country s entire team from the
Rio de Janeiro Games.
The scheme lasted at least four
years, covered summer and winter
sports and involved at least 312 pos-
itive tests that went unreported at the
behest of higher-ups in the country s
sports ministry, according to a 97-
page report issued yesterday.
"A mind-blowing level of corrup-
tion within both Russian sport and
government," said Travis Tygart, the
CEO of the US Anti-Doping Agency.
WADA, which hired arbitrator
Richard McLaren to lead the inves-
tigation, called on the IOC to decline
entries of all Russian athletes to this
summer s Olympics.
"In the face of such evidence of
state-sponsored subversion of anti-
doping processes, WADA insists upon
imposition of the most serious con-
sequences to protect clean athletes
from the scourge of doping in sport,"
said WADA President Craig Reedie,
who is also an IOC member.
IOC President Thomas Bach called
the revelations a "shocking and
unprecedented attack on the integrity
of sports and on the Olympic Games"
and said the IOC wouldn t hesitate
to apply the toughest sanctions avail-
able. The IOC executive board will
meet today to begin sorting through
But it will be a tough call, full of
political ramifications that involve a
key Olympic country, Russia, which
hosted the most expensive Winter
Olympics, in Sochi, a little more than
two years ago. Bach has frequently
spoken of the fine line between "col-
lective responsibility and individual
justice." And for every anti-doping
agency and athletes group calling for
a full ban, there s a sports organisation
or leader urging restraint.
"The right to participate at the
games cannot be stolen from an ath-
lete, who has duly qualified and has
not been found guilty of doping," said
Bruno Grandi, president of gymnas-
tics international federation.
Gymnastics was one of the sports
not listed in the report. "Blanket bans
have never been and will never be
just," Grandi said.
McLaren s report said allegations
made by Moscow s former anti-dop-
ing lab director about sample switch-
ing at the Sochi Olympics went much
as described in a New York Times
story in May. That program involved
dark-of-night bottle tampering in
order to switch dirty samples with
clean ones; it prevented Russian ath-
letes, including more than a dozen
medal winners, from testing positive.
But McLaren said the bottle tam-
pering in Sochi was a one-shot deal.
Meanwhile, he described tactics he
labeled "disappearing positive
methodology" that began in 2011,
shortly after Russia s disappointing
performance at the Vancouver
Olympics. It included the 2013 track
world championships in Moscow and
was in place as recently as the 2015
swimming world championships in
Kazan---when everyone in Russian
sports knew they were under the dop-
In short, Russia s deputy minister
of sports, Yuri Nagornykh, who was
also part of Russia s Olympic Com-
mittee, would direct workers at
Moscow s anti-doping laboratory of
which positive samples to send
through and which to hold back.
Assisting the plan was Russia s
national security service---the FSB,
the current version of the Soviet
Union s KGB. Russian President
Vladimir Putin appointed Nagornykh
to his post in 2010. On Monday, Putin
said officials named as directly
responsible in the doping scheme
would be suspended.
Russia assailed for
"In the face of such
evidence of state-
imposition of the most
to protect clean
athletes from the
scourge of doping in
Craig Reedie, who is
also an IOC member.
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