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Ethiopia Athletes Face Doping Tests or Ban

  • VOA News

FILE - Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia runs on her way to winning the women's 3000 meters final during the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships in Portland, Oregon, March 20, 2016. Ethiopia is to begin doping tests on about 200 athletes.

FILE - Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia runs on her way to winning the women's 3000 meters final during the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships in Portland, Oregon, March 20, 2016. Ethiopia is to begin doping tests on about 200 athletes.

Ethiopia is to begin doping tests on about 200 athletes.

The alternative is to face further action by the World Anti-Doping Agency and a possible ban by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

Ethiopia is one of five countries the IAAF says are in “critical care” over their drug-testing system. The others are Kenya, Morocco, Ukraine and Belarus.

Kenya missed two WADA deadlines and has until May 12 to fix its drug-testing system.

Russia is banned from international track and field competitions, after WADA discovered problems with the country’s anti-doping regime.

Ethiopia national track team doctor Ayalew Tilahun told Reuters 75 percent of the tests will be taken within three months.

The official said it will cost the country more than $120,000 to take athletes’ urine and blood samples.

Ethiopia is still scheduled to participate in this year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

“It was a relief that they permitted us to take part in the Olympics,” Tilahun said. “They are keeping a close eye and there will not be any excuse. We must work hard.”

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