Aregawi suspended by Sweden after failed dope test

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 29, 2016 1:38 PM

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden's 1,500 meters indoor world champion Abeba Aregawi has been suspended following a positive test for a banned substance, the country's athletics federation announced on Monday.

"It is with dismay and with extreme disappointment we have to make this statement," general secretary Stefan Olsson, who two days ago stood by Aregawi after a controversy over her tax affairs, said in a statement.

"We are totally opposed to all forms of cheating, doping and illicit substances. We have zero tolerance and this is totally unacceptable."

Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported that the substance, which was not named, was found following a test in Addis Ababa earlier this year.

The 25-year-old, Ethiopian-born Aregawi began competing for Sweden in 2012 after she was granted citizenship and she won the world outdoor 1,500 title the following year.

Last week she was caught up in a storm over unpaid taxes after telling Swedish authorities she had never lived in the country and so was not liable for tax.

Aregawi was ordered to pay 11,112 Swedish crowns ($1,299.57) in back taxes, with Olsson saying then that she would be allowed to run for Sweden and defend her title at next month's World Indoor Championships in Portland.

(Reporting by Philip O'Connor; editing by Clare Fallon)