Ethiopia carries out mass doping tests

FILE PHOTO - Ethiopian Athletics Federation head Alebachew Nigussie, left, national track team doctor Ayalew Tilahun, center, and national anti-doping office head Mengistu Abebe, right, speak at a press conference about current doping issues in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Thursday, April 7, 2016. Ethiopia must carry out mass doping tests on up to 200 athletes by November or be the latest to face further action by the World Anti-Doping Agency and a possible ban by the IAAF, track and field officials in the country said Thursday. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) – Ethiopia has conducted doping tests on more than 350 athletes, the vast majority of them track and field competitors.

Mekonnnen Yidersal, the director general of the Ethiopian National Anti-Doping Office, says the exercise was “successful” and a laboratory is expected to complete testing on the samples in 10 days.

Anti-doping authorities tested 339 track and field athletes last week. The tests coincided with the national athletics championships.

Mekonnnen says five Paralympic athletes, 10 cyclists, and five boxers were also tested.

Ethiopia’s apparently weak anti-doping program came under the spotlight last year when the World Anti-Doping Agency urged it to carry out more tests. Ethiopia has also criminalized doping. Dopers can to be sent to jail for up to five years.

 

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