1 March 2016

Abeba Aregawi suspended, Ethiopians under investigation

World indoor 1,500m champion Abeba Aregawi has been provisionally suspended after returning an adverse analytical finding (AAF) for an unnamed banned substance, reported the Swedish Athletics Association (SF) yesterday. An AAF is the first stage in the anti-doping process and means that an athlete has failed an anti-doping test, but it does not necessarily mean that an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) has occurred. Depending on the substance concerned, Aregawi may be able to avoid a sanction – or reduce the standard four-year ban under the World Anti-Doping Code – if she is able to demonstrate a valid reason as to why the substance is in her system.

Aregawi holds both Swedish and Ethiopian citizenship, becoming a naturalised Swedish citizen in 2012. She currently lives in Ethiopia, yet competes for Hammarby IF. Solomon Meaza of the Ethiopian Anti-Doping Agency told the Associated Press that nine Ethiopian runners are currently under investigation for suspected doping.

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