Israeli Olympic runner to be released from Ethiopian jail

Follows Israeli Olympic marathon runner's arrest on suspicion of stealing money from acquaintance.

Haile Satayin 88 224 (photo credit: Jeremy Last)
Haile Satayin 88 224
(photo credit: Jeremy Last)
After three days behind bars, Israel's Olympic marathon runner Haile Satayin will be released on Friday from the Ethiopian prison in Gondar. The 53-year-old was arrested upon his arrival at Addis Ababa Airport earlier this week and there were concerns that he might even miss the Olympic marathon on August 24. The Ethiopian judge decided on Thursday, however, that there was no reason to keep Satayin under arrest and the runner should be back in Israel on Saturday. "Satayin was arrested after an acquaintance of his claimed he had stolen money from him," Israel Athletics Association chairman Shlomo Ben-Gal told The Jerusalem Post. "Satayin said that there's nothing to these charges. The most important thing is that he returns to Israel and continues his preparations for the Olympics." Seven months ago, Satayin spent four days under arrest in Ethiopia and Ben-Gal admitted Thursday that the IAA might have been wrong to allow him train in Ethiopia ahead of the Olympics. "We warned him and told him to make sure there won't be any problems, but he said everything will be alright and told us not to worry," Ben-Gal said.