Gebrselassie quits as Ethiopia's athletics chief after 'incident'

Ethiopian running legend Haile Gebrselassie poses with fans on October 20, 2013 before the country's first-ever marathon in Hawassa. PHOTO | JENNY VAUGHAN | AFP

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Ethiopian running legend Haile Gebrselassie on Monday resigned as president of the country's athletics body two years into his four-year mandate after an unspecified "incident", state media reported.

The retired 45-year-old Gebrselassie cited an incident at a weekend competition for his decision to step down from the Ethiopian Athletics Federation, according to a resignation letter published by state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate.


"What happened yesterday was unprofessional and harmful to Ethiopian athletics. Instead of getting myself into an unnecessary argument, I decide to resign from my position," Mr Gebrselassie wrote, without elaborating.

The federation's vice president, Olympic long-distance gold medal winner Derartu Tulu, will take his place, he said.

A 10,000 metres double Olympic gold medallist and multiple marathon champion, Mr Gebrselassie was elected in 2016 to the federation's helm after accusing its leaders of "incompetence" during the preparations for the Rio Olympics.

Ethiopian athletes took home only eight medals in Rio to come in 44th place, well below neighbour and historic rival Kenya.