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Haile Gebrselassie protests Kenenisa Bekele’s exclusion from Olympics

Haile Gebrselassie, Kenenisa Bekele

BEIJING - AUGUST 17: (L-R) Kenenisa Bekele (gold medal) of Ethiopia is congratulated by teammate Haile Gebreselassie of Ethiopia after the Men’s 10000m Final in the Men’s 10000m Final held at the National Stadium on Day 9 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 17, 2008 in Beijing, China. Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia finished the event in first place with a new Olympic record time of 27:01.17. (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)

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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) -- Distance running great Haile Gebrselassie was part of a group of athletes who protested against the Ethiopian track federation on Tuesday.

The athletes were protesting the federation’s selection process for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Gebrselassie was part of a group of more than 100 athletes who gathered outside the National Stadium in Addis Ababa.

Gebrselassie told The Associated Press that the federation was ''marred with incompetency.’' He was protesting against, among other things, the exclusion of Kenenisa Bekele from the marathon team for the Games.

Bekele, the 5000m and 10,000m world-record holder, was also present. Both he and Gebrselassie addressed the athletes.

A number of other athletes have complained about their exclusion from Ethiopia’s Olympic team, claiming that the selection process is unfair.

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