The smell of fish stew jersey pervades Lily Abdullayeva’s ho

The smell of fish stew jersey pervades Lily Abdullayeva’s ho

Postautor: lucyweiweiwei » 4 sie 2017, o 04:07

he smell of fish stew pervades Lily Abdullayeva’s house, a 40-minute drive from Gary Carter Youth Jersey central Addis Ababa, past a throng of roadside villages of colourful ramshackle huts where legs of beef hang from corrugated iron roofs and children in Manchester United shirts play barefoot.A modest but smart brick building, it is shielded by rusty gates, beyond which several cows graze on a thirsty patch of grass. In the back room her mother-in-law lays on a mattress on the floor with Beheyaw, Lily’s 13-month-old son, snoozing beside her.It is a typical scene of middle-class life in the Ethiopian capital but the clank of medals Lily is emptying from a tote bag on to a coffee table are the start of a different story. She offers a window into the dark side of elite athletics where African runners are bought by rich Arab and Middle Eastern nations, some to be cast aside when they are no longer winning. “We are treated like sporting slaves,” says Lily.There are dozens of medals, including a few from her junior career when she was one of Ethiopia’s brightest middle-distance running talents. It was in 2009 that Lily, now 26, was first spotted at her local club in Addis Ababa by a Turkish coach who persuaded her to switch allegiance to Azerbaijan.“They promised me a good salary, a house and expensive cars if I won races,” she says. “But I never received any. I had my prize money stolen, was tricked into taking drugs and I would advise against anyone doing it.”Lily is not the only athlete to change nationality. On a single day last year – before the Rio Olympics – the IAAF, athletics’ world governing body, had 25 applications to switch allegiance. Many of these were for no obvious reason, beyond a cynical attempt by oil-rich nations like Qatar, Bahrain and Azerbaijan to increase their chances of winning medals on the world stage.At the European championships in Amsterdam last summer, Turkey had its most successful performance, winning 12 medals, six of those claimed by former Kenyan athletes. Kazakhstan is expected to follow suit with many African-born athletes thought to be making their debut for the country at Obrazek the world championships in London which start on Friday.But a joint investigation by the Guardian, the German broadcaster ARD and Holland Media Combination has found that some of these athletes competing under a flag of convenience are routinely mistreated, denied prize money and sometimes housed in filthy conditions.Lily, who was known as Layes while competing for Azerbaijan, claims she was promised $300 a month, rising to $1,000 if she had a good result. In her first few months, she became a European junior silver medallist but the money did not materialise and she was receiving only $150 a month.“After eight months I asked my coach why I was not being paid the $1,000 and threatened to ask the president of the federation where my money was,” she says. “As soon as I said that, he gave me money from his own pocket there and then. It turned out he had been keeping it himself from the third month.”Lily continued to succeed, promoting the interests of the Azerbaijani government, which has tried to put itself on the sporting map in recent years by hosting the inaugural European Games and a Formula One grand prix. She rifles through a photo album, stopping on a picture showing her running alongside the British athlete Helen Clitheroe on her way to winning 3,000m bronze at the European Indoor Championships in Paris in 2011. But it was a burning desire to succeed at London 2012 Adidas Nail Yakupov Jersey that Lily says made her coaches begin to ply her with drugs.“At the Stockholm Diamond League in 2011 I was injured but was ordered to compete anyway,” she says. “After warming up my coach Mitin Sesak came up to me and said: ‘Lily open your mouth.’ He put one tablet on my tongue and I swallowed. Finally I had the courage to ask what he was giving to me and he said: ‘It can help you if you are scared or have fear, you can be strong.’“But he got distracted and forgot he left the packet with me. I read it and it said ‘tribulus testosterone’. I went on the internet to check the side effects and one said infertility. When I saw that information I was very angry. I was fighting to have a better life but not to have any problems in the future with conceiving. But they didn’t care.“I was at a training camp in Georgia and Mitin gave me some injections. He said he was giving me small injections, not the big ones, yet. His target was the Olympics and world championships. He didn’t want us to have very good results before then because the government would not be feeling as happy if we get medals at the Olympics so he saved the stronger stuff.”Sesak is now serving a lifetime ban from athletics as a result of a case brought by Turkish anti-doping authorities.Lily tugs at the bottom of her Minnie Mouse sweatshirt and shakes her head as she recalls leaving Azerbaijan after four years representing them. In 2013 she had been given $25,000 by the government for winning a race but claims the Azerbaijan Athletics Federation president took $7,000 of that money and also refused to continue paying her salary.“He promised to send the rest of the prize money to me when I was back in Ethiopia but never did,” she says.Back home in Addis Ababa, Lily Abdullayeva displays her athletics trophies and medals. Photograph: ARD In a statement responding to the allegations, the Azerbaijan Athletics Federation says: “It is true that Ms L Abdullayeva has indeed competed as an athlete in Azerbaijan during the period of 2009-13. However, it should be pointed out that she had not entered into any contractual arrangement with the Azerbaijan Athletics Federation.” It adds that she was competing for an individual sports club and that “she has received all due prize money. The Federation refutes her allegations as baseless that she is still somehow due some prize money.”Mucheru believes a lack of education for young African athletes often leads to them being exploited. “There is a huge problem with agents who take advantage of athletes who are very young and often not very well educated,” he says. “A lot of them who are promised to get a chance to go to Europe do not think about the contract, they just go.
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Re: The smell of fish stew jersey pervades Lily Abdullayeva’

Postautor: Thongkon007 » 10 sie 2017, o 04:50


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Re: The smell of fish stew jersey pervades Lily Abdullayeva’

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