By Aaron Maasho
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopian steeplechaser Chala Bayo has been banned for two years after he attacked and punched his coach on learning that he was not selected in the squad for next month’s world championships.
Bayo competed in the 3,000m steeplechase at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro where he failed to get past the heats.
Bayo confronted Yohannes Mohammed, Ethiopia’s deputy 3,000m steeplechase coach, at an event in Addis Ababa where the 40-member squad was announced.
“Chala was incensed, he punched Yohannes in the eye and fled,” Sileshi Bisrat, spokesman of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF), said.
“He has since been on the run as police are searching for him.”
Ethiopia’s squad for the world championships which start on Aug. 4 includes Tirunesh Dibaba, a triple Olympic distance champion who will run the 10,000m in London. Mare Dibaba will defend her marathon title.
Mohammed Aman, 800m world champion 2013, and Rio Olympics marathon bronze medalist Tamrat Tola were also included, but triple Olympic track champion Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest ever marathon runner, was not named in the squad.
(Reporting by Aaron Maasho,; Editing by George Obulutsa and Ed Osmond)