Ethiopian born World champion Abeba Aregawi fails drug test

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Feb 29, 2021
  • Abeba Aregawi winning a past race in Doha. She has provisionally been suspended for a failed drugs test.

Just hours after reports emerged that there could Ethiopia could be set for doping bans, Swedish Athletics announced that World 1500m champion Abeba Aregawi has provisionally been suspended. 

The provisional suspension of the Ethiopian born runner was announced bty the Swedish Athletics and confirmed by IAAF.

She reportedely tested positive for Meldonium.

"It is with dismay and extreme disappointment we have to leave this message. We totally reject all forms of cheating, doping and illegal means. We have a zero tolerance, and this is totally unacceptable," Swedish Athletics secretary general Stefan Olsson said in a statement posted by local media.

The IAAF also released a statement confirming the provisional ban.

“The IAAF and the Swedish Athletics Federation confirm having received a laboratory report indicating the presence of a prohibited substance in a urine sample of the athlete Abeba Aregawi collected out-of-competition by the IAAF.

"Following notification of the laboratory finding, the athlete has voluntarily withdrawn from competition until the investigations into the laboratory findings are completed. In the meantime, the athlete has requested the analysis of the B sample which will be conducted shortly. The IAAF and Swedish Athletic Federation will not make any further comment until completion of the Result Management process.”

Aregawi switched nationality in 2012 when she married an Ethiopian man with Swedish citizenship and ran her first race for new nation in December the same year, when she also won the Diamond league.

She had raced for Ethiopia at the London games in August that year running the fastest 1500m in the semi finals.

Her big break was when she won gold at the world championships in Moscow in 4:02.67 ahead of American Jenny Simpson who could be awarded the title if her B sample is confirmed. It was the first time a Swedish athlete won a medal in  middle distance race at the Worlds.

She also won the European championships in 2013.

British Sportsmail on Monday reported that doping police had now shifted their focus on numerous athletes from Ethiopia, Kenya's main arch rival in the middle and long distance races.