Former 1,500 world champ Abeba Aregawi fails doping test

MONACO (AP) — Former 1,500-meter world champion Abeba Aregawi failed a doping test and has been suspended pending an investigation, the IAAF and Swedish track and field federation said Monday.

She tested positive for a banned substance following an out-of-competition urine test conducted by the IAAF, the world track and field governing body said. The IAAF did not identify the substance or say when and where the test was carried out.

Abeba was born in Ethiopia but now represents Sweden.

The IAAF said Abeba, the 2013 world champion, had voluntarily withdrawn from competition and asked for her backup “B” sample to be tested. Later, Swedish athletics federation general secretary Stefan Olsson said Abeba was suspended until further notice.

“It is with dismay and with extreme disappointment we have to make this statement,” Olsson, who two days ago stood by Abeba 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 it also did not name, was found following a test in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, earlier this year.

The 25-year-old Abeba is the current world indoor champion in the 1,500 meters. She also won the European indoor title in 2013.

Abeba previously represented Ethiopia until acquiring Swedish citizenship in 2012.

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