You may remember last week that Ethiopian marathoner Haile Gebrselassie, one of the favorites to win the gold in the Olympics, decided to pull out of the Games because he suffers from asthma and did not want to damage his chances in the marathon at the London Games in 2012.
Obviously China and organizers of the Olympics weren't real happy about this, but the International Olympic Committee said his withdrawal was fully justified and that no one could force him to compete.
Well, that has turned out not to be the case. The Ethiopian Athletics Federation apparently can tell him to do whatever the hell they want him to do.
"It is not up to Haile Gebrselassie to decide on participation in the marathon event in Beijing," EAF technical director Dube Jillo told Reuters in an interview. "It is the Ethiopian Athletics Federation, representing the nation, that determines whether Haile is fit to compete in the marathon event in Beijing's Olympics or not."Let me translate that for you: He will race and he will like it!
I can't remember the last time I heard of an athlete actually being forced to compete, but I'm not opposed to it. Considering how much we've sucked in basketball the past few Olympics, I think we should force the best NBA players to play for our country - under penalty of torture. Sure, it might sound harsh, but it gets results. I mean, that's the way East Germans used to do it, right? Well, that and steroids, lots and lots of steroids.