Track & Field: Israeli Olympic marathon runner released from jail in Ethiopia

After four days behind bars, Haile Satayin is freed afte judge decides there is no reason to keep him under arrest.

Haile Satayin 224.88 (photo credit: Courtesy/OCI)
Haile Satayin 224.88
(photo credit: Courtesy/OCI)
After four days behind bars, Israeli Olympic marathon runner Haile Satayin was released from prison in Gondar, Ethiopia, on Thursday. The 53-year-old marathon runner 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 was set free. "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." Despite all the trouble, Satayin is intending to stay in Ethiopia in the coming weeks and train for the Olympics as he initially planned. Seven months ago Satayin also spent four days under arrest in Ethiopia and Ben-Gal, who said he will try and convince the veteran to return to Isreal, admitted on Thursday that the IAA may have been wrong to allow him train in the country 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.