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Ethiopia lifts Kenenisa, others ban

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, January 24 – A ban barring 35 top Ethiopian athletes from competing internationally has been lifted, the national athletics federation said Tuesday.

“We have solved the problem, our athletes can run in any competition starting from today,” said Dube Jillo, technical director of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation, ending restrictions on them competing in the London Olympics.

The federation suspended 35 athletes last week, including double Olympics champion Kenenisa Bekele, after they failed to show up for a mandatory training camp.

“(They) did not report, we tried to ask them, we tried to call them but they never responded so the Athletics Federation took action,” Dube said.

However, the federation met with the athletes Monday to resolve the problem and the athletes agreed to resume training, Dube added.

Kenenisa said last week he had not turned up to the training as he was receiving treatment for a knee injury last year.

“It will take weeks before I return to ordinary training, and some two to three months before I return to competition,” he posted on Facebook on Friday.

Dube said that now the athletes have resumed training he was optimistic about Ethiopia’s performance at the London Olympics.

“We are working hard now for the Olympic games. I hope we will succeed,” he said.

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