London - Retired running legend Haile Gebrselassie has been elected president of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation.
The 43-year-old sports star, considered one of the greatest distance
runners of all time, will serve a four-year term, with local media
reporting he won nine of the 15 votes to secure the presidency.
"I feel so honoured to be elected president of the Ethiopian
Athletics Federation! Will work on a great future for Ethiopian
athletics!" the runner wrote on Twitter late on Saturday.
Gebrselassie had been a vocal critic of the Ethiopian federation,
accusing its leaders of "incompetence" in preparing the Rio Olympics.
The former champion - a 10 000m double Olympic gold medallist and
multiple marathon champ - took part in a demonstration against the
federation's selection criteria and its decision to drop triple Olympic
champion Kenenisa Bekele from the team.
Ethiopia went on to win just eight medals at Rio, including only one
gold for Almaz Ayana in the women's 10 000m, and placed 44th in the
country rankings, far behind Kenya its neighbour and historic rival.
Gebrselassie subsequently called on the federation leadership to
resign, saying he was willing to "share his experience" and help
Ethiopia to prepare for the upcoming IAAF World Championships in
Athletics in London in 2017 and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
The Ethiopian Athletics Federation is also facing several cases of
alleged doping among its athletes with at least five distance runners
testing positive and being investigated for using meldonium, the same
substance that earned tennis player Maria Sharapova a two-year