Ethiopia is the latest country to be hit by the wave of doping allegations sweeping across the world of Track and Field, following a string of positive tests among some of the nation’s ‘top athletes’ reports the Association Press (AP).

Three unnamed athletes were formally suspended on suspicion of doping while three others are currently under investigation in what Ethiopian Team Doctor Ayalew Tilhaun describes as “a very terrifying development.”

However, officials did not give the names of the athletes, citing ongoing investigations. It is reported that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is also investigating a number of Ethiopians for doping.

One runner, Sintayehu Mergia, identified himself as one of the athletes under suspicion while speaking on a local radio station. He however denied doping.

Earlier this week it was revealed that Ethiopian-born former 1500m world champion Abeba Aregawi, who now competes for Sweden, had failed an out-of-competition doping test. Reports say she was tested in Ethiopia.

This follows controversies generated by doping problems in both Russia and Ethiopia’s East African neighbour, Kenya, in the buildup to last year’s World Championships and the forthcoming Olympic Games in Rio.

Scores of athletes from both countries have been suspended for failing dope tests, while the affected federations risk being banned from fielding Athletics teams at the Games.


Yemi Galadima is a Senior Sportswriter and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games, Olympics and World Athletics Championships. She also freelances for World Athletics.


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