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Runner with age discrepancy withdrawn from World Junior Championships

Jul 25, 2014, 3:47 PM EDT

IAAF World Junior Championships Getty Images

A Bahrain runner whose age eligibility was questioned for the World Junior Championships was pulled out of the meet before her event, according to the Oregonian.

The 1500m runner Amsale Getaneh is listed with a June 14, 1996, birthdate on the IAAF website, which would make her eligible to compete in the championships, whose age limit is 19.

But the newspaper reported it obtained a photo copy of what appears to be an Ethiopian passport for Getaneh with a Jan. 18, 1990 birthday, which would make her five years too old for the World Junior Championships.

The IAAF — the International Association of Athletics Federations, the governing body of international track & field — investigated and concluded Getaneh was too old to be eligible.

An IAAF spokesman said officials contacted members of the federation from Bahrain “to clarify why their athlete has two passports because we received an Ethiopian passport showing her date of birth as ’90 and not ’96.

“They decided they didn’t want to create problems in the competition and disturb the good relationship between the Bahrain association and the IAAF. They decided to cancel the participation of the athlete.”

A six-year difference is more than some of the most infamous age falsifications in sports, such as 2001 Little League World Series baseball player Danny Almonte (two years difference) and 2000 Chinese Olympic gymnast Dong Fangxiao (three years difference).

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