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The Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) warned managers and coaches about local athletes regarding their involvement in Ethiopian athletes transferring allegiance when they take part in international races. The newly-elected head of the EAF said the federation would not be responsible once athletes travelled to other countries without permission from the federation and a contractual agreement between athletes and managers.
At a meeting conducted at the National Hotel, located off Menelik II Avenue, EAF discussed transfer of allegiance with athletes’ managers and the athletes. Double Olympic gold medalist and the sitting president of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation, Haile Gebreselassie, spoke of athletes who suffered after they had changed their citizenship to run for other countries. “Managers should be aware of the federation’s rules and regulations. Now, many athletes are running for different countries dealing with brokers. So, every manager is responsible,” Haile said.
“We have learned that those athletes run two marathon races in one month,” Haile said. It was also indicated that under-age athletes were running marathons. In that regard, Ethiopia’s athletics governing body said that every agreement amongst athletes, managers and club coaches should be communicated to the federation.
Athletes’ managers raised the challenge of language barriers while signing agreements. Depending on the result registered by athletes, they sign two contracts with managers and brands. “Almost all athletes do not fully understand the contracts they are signing. Athletes often don’t even know the payment for one race. So, managers reap profits on the back of athletes,” Wondemagegn Getachew, a manager, said.