Russia shouldn’t pay for individual dope cheats: Bekele

New Delhi, Nov 26 (IANS) World and Olympic record holder in 5,000 and 10,000 metres, Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele on Thursday said the decision of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to suspend its Russian federation because of allegations of doping was “not right” as clean athletes will suffer.

The governing body of world athletics took the unprecedented step of suspending Russia from all competitions in the wake of revelations of state-sponsored doping on November 13 following a report of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s independent committee.

However, Bekele, who is here as the event ambassador of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon to be held on Sunday, feels that the decision will “damage” the country’s growth in athletics.

“I feel bad about whatever happening to athletics these days and those who are caught must be dealt with stern actions. But it was not fair to suspend the whole contingent for the bad things done by some athlete,” Bekele told reporters.

“There are many clean athletes who will be affected and demoralised with this decision as they have not done anything bad. The suspension will damage the athletics there,” the two-time Olympic and four-time world champion in 10,000 metres.

The 33-year-old is, however, convinced world athletics will come out on top in its fight against the menace of doping.

The conversation veered towards his personal career that has been lately blighted by persistent Achilles tendon injuries.

Bekele, who was at his peak between 2004 and 2009 that made him more successful than his idol Haile Gebrselassie, suffered right tendon injury and now the left one is also giving him pain.

However he is hopeful of overcoming the injuries and compete for a place in the 2016 Olympics.

“Running 5,000 metres is impossible now and I am now focused on the marathons and the 10,000 metres,” he told IANS.

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