By Staff writer
Talks follow Bahrain's first Olympic gold won by Kenya-born Ruth Jebet
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is reportedly considering changing rules that allow athletes to switch the country they represent in track and field.
It follows Bahrain's first Olympic gold medal, won by Ruth Jebet in the 3,000-metre steeplechase after transferring her nationality three years ago from Kenya.
Sebastian Coe's IAAF leadership discussed the issue during the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, reported the Associated Press, and "transfer of allegiance" is on the agenda for Saturday's council meeting.
The IAAF permitted a total of 85 athletes to compete for new countries in the Olympics, including 12 that now represent Bahrain that have come from African or Caribbean nations.
"It is time to review the transfer of allegiance rules to see if they are still applicable to today," the IAAF told the AP. "It's like many of the IAAF rules; they need to be reviewed over a period of time. It is right to review these rules now."
"There are so many athletes in Kenya," said 19-year-old Jebet. "In Bahrain, I get the chance to go to school."
Twenty-four-year-old Andrew Fisher transferred his allegiance from Jamaica to Bahrain in July this year, and having only visited the kingdom once, he said he would remain living on the Caribbean Island.
Fisher did not hide his search of a new nation to represent at the Olympics because he felt he could not qualify for the Jamaican team, headed by Usain Bolt.
"It was a decision that took months to come to," Fisher told the Jamaica Observer newspaper recently. "I love Jamaica and didn't think I could live anywhere else.
"The Jamaican team right now is a hard one to make, and we all have ambitions to compete at the highest level, and this was one way I saw where I could fulfil that ambition."
men's Olympic handball team featured a lot of European-born players,
who have been attracted by the financial rewards in a relatively
cash-strapped sport, reported AP.
Bertrand Roine won the world handball championship with France in 2011 but competed against France for Qatar last week.
"The worst feeling was during the national anthem. Ah, but what can I do?" Croatia-born Marko Bagaric said after Qatar's handball game against his former countrymen. "Qatar gave me the opportunity to play in the Olympic Games. It is the dream of any sportsman."