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Ethiopia: Govt budgets $300,000 for mass anti-doping tests

Ethiopia: Govt budgets $300,000 for mass anti-doping tests

Ethiopia

Ethiopia is to carry out doping test on some 200 of its athletes by November or face further action by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

The East African country will attempt to test between 150 and 200 athletes over the next seven months, the national team doctor, Ayalew Tilahun is quoted to have said.

“We are told that we could be banned from the IAAF if we don’t comply with the request,” he said.

We are told that we could be banned from the IAAF if we don't comply with the request.

He noted that the result of the drug test must be provided to WADA and the IAAF. He said the government has provided $300,000 to fund the test.

The bid to take urine and blood samples on 150 to 200 athletes before the end of April will cost the country between 2.5 million birr ($117,359) to 3 million.

According to Reuters, the East African country is one of the five countries the IAAF governing body has said is in “critical care” over its drug-testing systems.

Ethiopia and its neighbour Kenya have for many years dominated the long distance race on the track and the road.

Last month the World Anti-Doping Agency gave Addis Ababa a 10-point guideline, that included raising its drug-testing capacity to WADA standards, to be implemented by November.

Ethiopian officials said failure to do so would lead to suspension.

Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Ukraine and Belarus have been identified by IAAF president Sebastian Coe as countries in need of “critical care” because of weaknesses in their drug-testing systems.

Ayalew said WADA officials will visit Ethiopia to assess the progress on June 3 adding that the IAAF President is also expected to visit around the time.

Ethiopia is the latest country to face sanctions following major doping scandals in Russia and Kenya.

Russia is currently banned from all athletics following the discovery of a state-sponsored doping regime and revelations of corruption.

Kenya, having missed a WADA deadline, has until May 12 to show it has adequate systems in place after a series of high-profile positive tests by athletes and the suspension of several leading officials.

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