Ethiopian Athletics: Haile Gebrselassie Reconsiders and Won’t Quit Racing

New York, USA – Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia, the distance-running star who stunningly announced his retirement after dropping out of the New York City Marathon on Nov. 7, said Monday that he had reconsidered and would continue racing.

“Running is in my blood, and I decided to continue competing,” Gebrselassie wrote on his Twitter account. “My announcement in New York was my first reaction after a disappointing race.”

Jos Hermens, Gebrselassie’s agent, said from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, that Gebrselassie had reacted emotionally after leaving the New York course at 16 miles of the 26.2-mile race. He also felt guilty for having dropped out of a half-marathon in New York earlier this year.

“He wasn’t thinking when he said he wanted to stop,” Hermens said. “He was too emotional.”

Hermens also provided new details about the injury that caused Gebrselassie to drop out of the race, describing it as more of a muscular problem than a knee problem, as New York City Marathon officials had reported.

Hermens also suggested that Gebrselassie’s emotional decision to retire might have stemmed in part from political pressure he was feeling in Ethiopia. His phone has been tapped by government officials and he has faced some sort of blackmail attempt, Hermens said of his client.

“There is a lot of pressure on him in Ethiopia,” Hermens said of Gebrselassie. “I don’t know all the details.”

Gebrselassie could not be reached by phone Monday, and it was impossible to confirm independently the accusations about phone-tapping and blackmail. Read Full Story Here.