The participation at London 2012 of 35 leading Ethiopian athletes including double Olympic champions Kenenisa Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba has been put in jeopardy by the application of an indefinite ban by their national federation for their failure to take part in group training sessions.

And Bekele is so upset about what has happened that he is reportedly considering running for another country.

Bekele’s manager Jos Hermens, who has also guided the career of Bekele’s fellow Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie, his predecessor as Olympic 10,000 metres champion and world record holder, told insidethegames: “I have just spoken to Kenenisa, who is back home, and he is so upset about the whole thing that he is saying ‘Let me run for another country’.

“He says the first time he knew anything about it was when he saw the reports on Ethiopian TV.

“He said to me ‘I have not been shown any respect’.

“He has told the federation he does not want to train on the Mondo track at the national stadium because it is too hard and it could lead to injury.

“Kenenisa and Haile were among several athletes who asked the authorities not to lay a hard track there three years ago, but they were ignored.

“This is a nation with the world’s best endurance runners, and they lay a sprinter’s track at the national stadium.

“You can’t believe it.

“In a couple of months’ time Kenenisa is going to set up a softer track of his own 10 kilometres outside Addis.

“He has spent $1 million (£646,300/€775,100) of his own money on it, and it will mean other Ethiopian athletes can train there too.

“But instead of getting thanks, this is the way they treat him.

“It’s unbelievable.

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