BRUSSELS, Belgium -- World steeplechase champion Saif Saeed
Shaheen of Qatar will not compete at the Athens Olympics because of
a conflict over his nationality switch from Kenya last year.
The Kenyan-born Shaheen, formerly known as Stephen Cherono, has
not received permission from the Kenyan Olympic Committee to
compete at the Olympics for Qatar.
"Unfortunately I will not be able to start in the Olympic Games
this summer," he said after finishing fifth in the world cross
country short race Saturday.
The IAAF, track's world governing body, is considering a rules
change to prevent athletes from switching countries for commercial
Under the current rules, three years must pass before an athlete
can compete for another country, unless there is a bilateral
agreement to skip the measure. Kenya said it will refuse to allow
Shaheen run in Athens.
Shaheen has said Qatar agreed to pay him $1,000 a month for the
rest of his life to make the switch. He was allowed to compete at
the world track and field championships last year, and became the
first non-Kenyan to win the steeplechase in 16 years.