Haile Gebrselassie resigns as Ethiopian Athletics president
Long distance running great Haile Gebrselassie has quit his role as the president of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation.
The double Olympic champion announced his resignation citing ‘irreconcilable differences’, a day after a group of athletes protested in Sululta, south of the capital Addis Ababa, over lack of facilities and services from the federation.
“This is the point of no return,” said Gebrselassie at a press conference to announce his departure.
"Some individuals were doing their best to manipulate the values of EAF.
"The efforts of these parties became fruitful yesterday at the national cross country championships, when they used these young athletes to push their demands."
The two-time world marathon record holder detailed the challenges he has faced as EAF president since his election in November 2016.
But he maintained that his decision to step down, after serving half of his four-year term, was a personal one.
“This is no external pressure. My decision to resign is a sacrifice for Ethiopian Athletics" said Gebrsellassie in Addis Ababa.
"My biggest regret is not reinforcing the rule of law at EAF."
As a runner, the Ethiopian claimed two Olympic Gold medals and four world championship titles in the 10,000m.
Gebrselassie also won nine marathon majors in a career that spanned more than two decades.
He set 27 world records.
His election in November 2016 had been heralded as a turning point for Ethiopian athletics, following months of dissent from local runners.
The 45-year-old will be replaced as president of the Federation by another Ethiopian star, two-time Olympic champion Derartu Tulu, who had been the vice president.
She is also a two-time Olympic champion, having won the 10,000m at Barcelona 1992 and Sydney 2000.