Political intimidation of a world record holder

LetsRun.com has the following story on the Haile Gebreselassie retirement controversy that is evolving into a 3-way battle between Haile vs. the New York Times vs. the Ethiopian despot in the Battle for credibility.

The Haile Gebrselassie retirement story continues to make news and it’s only getting stranger and stranger. Two days after a story appeared in the New York Times on Gebselassie’s un-retirement in which it was said that Gebrselassie was under intense political pressure in his native Ethiopia and his phones had been tapped, Gebrselassie and his manager Jos Hermens appeared on national television in Ethiopia and ripped the veracity of the story that appeared in the New York Times… LetsRun.com contacted the New York Times around 10:30 pm EST on Thursday night to try to get Jeré Longman’s response to the Hermens statement. Longman wasn’t in the office and the unidentified employee in the Sports Department who answered the phone told us to call back in the morning as he wasn’t going to call him this late at home on this matter. On an aside, we imagine if this story was about a US sports star, the reaction would be different. To us, this is a huge story as it involves possible political intimidation of a world record holder. If Hermens did tell the New York Times Haile’s phones were tapped, then it appears he has quickly been forced to deny it on national televsion in Ethiopia. If he didn’t say it, then it’s pretty bad reporting by arguably the US’s most famous newspaper… [read the whole story here]