Three-time Olympic champion, Kenenisa Bekele, was left out of Ethiopia’s Rio 2016 Olympics marathon team.
In addition to Kenenisa, Yemane Tsegay, a record holder of Ottawa marathon, Canada, was excluded from the team even though, he was named in the reserve team.
In the men’s side, Ethiopia will be represented in the Rio 2016 Olympics by Lemi Berhanu, Tesfaye Abera, Feyisa Lelissa and Lelisa Desisa.
Similarly, Tigist Tufa, Mare Dibaba, Tirfi Tsegaye and Aberu Kebede were included in Ethiopia’s women marathon team.
About 12 athletes, including Kenenisa Bekele, submitted complaints to the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF), expressing their dissatisfaction with the selection criteria.
The Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) has said that the athletes, including Kenenisa, were omitted from the team for failing to meet the minimum requirements set for participating in the World Olympics.
However, according to Kenenisa’s interview with state affiliated media FBC, Kenenisa questioned the fairness of the selection. He also added that “the selection lacks transparency and is not convincing,”
The General Secretary EAF, Bililign Mekoya, said the selection for the World Olympics was carried out based on clearly specified selection criteria and athletes can summit their complaints to the federation and if it is necessary, decisions could be reversed.