The chairwoman of Somalia’s national athletics federation has been suspended amid accusations of nepotism after a seemingly untrained female sprinter represented the African country at the World University Games in China, and took more than 20 seconds to finish the 100-meter race, far behind her competitors.
The Somali Ministry of Youth and Sports released a statement directing the Somalia Olympic Committee to suspend athletics federation chairwoman Khadija Aden Dahir amid allegations that 20-year-old Nasra Abukar — who finished last in the race on Tuesday — was a relative of hers and was given the chance to compete at the games because of her family ties.
Video of the agonizingly slow run by Abukar went viral on social media this week.
Minister of Youth and Sports Mohamed Barre Mohamud offered a public apology Wednesday and said his ministry did not know how Abukar was selected to compete in the women’s 100 at the student games in Chengdu. He called the performance embarrassing for Somalia.
Somalia’s university union said it had not sent any runners to China as part of an official Somali team.
In her qualifying race, Abukar was immediately left behind by the other runners and finished about 10 seconds after the winner. Despite finishing last, she did a little skip in the air as she crossed the finish line.
CBS News reached out to the Somali Athletics Federation for comment but received no response after more than 24 hours.
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