Haile Gebrselassie, citing concerns about the pollution, heat, and humidity of August in Beijing, says he won't be running in the upcoming Olympic marathon (NY Times story). The Ethiopian and current world record holder in the marathon (2:04:26, Berlin), will, however, still compete in the 10,000 meters, an event where he's twice won Olympic gold (Atlanta '96 & Sydney '00). A noted asthma sufferer, Gebrselassie seemed to conclude that it would be too much of a risk to run 26.2 miles in the frequently smog-choked city. While asthma medication is permitted under doping controls, too much use can still trigger positive controls and the career-breaking sanctions that go with it.
(Photo by kevindooley, under Creative Commons)