Ethiopia is the latest track and field nation to be investigated for doping with the Ethiopia anti-doping agency general secretary revealing nine of the country’s runners are under investigation.
Solomon Meaza said his agency was investigating five athletes he described as high-profile after they returned suspicious results in doping tests.
He said the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) requested contact details for the other four and the world body is investigating them.
“There is a real concern when the upcoming investigations arrive,” he said.
Solomon declined to name the athletes or give details of the substances they are suspected of using as investigations are ongoing.
The Ethiopian cases will be another blow to the sport following major doping scandals in Russia and Kenya in the build-up to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Aregawi tests positive
Meanwhile Sweden’s Ethiopian-born 1500 metres former world champion Abeba Aregawi has tested positive for doping, according to the Swedish Athletics Association (SFIF).
The test for banned substances was conducted by the IAAF and a full investigation will be conducted.
“It is with dismay and with extreme disappointment that we report this issue,” SFIF general secretary Stefan Olsson said.
“We totally reject all forms of cheating, doping … we have a zero tolerance, and this is totally unacceptable.”
The 25-year-old Aregawi has been provisionally suspended by the SFIF, effective immediately.
Aregawi, who competed for Ethiopia at the London 2012 Olympics, was world champion in 2013 in Moscow, but finished only sixth in a slow tactical race in Beijing last year.
She has also won the European championships and World Indoors gold over her specialist distance.
Aregawi finished fifth at the London Games, again in a slow tactical race, behind Turkey’s Asli Cakir Alptekin, who was later stripped of her Olympic title for a second doping offence.
Aregawi switched allegiances to Sweden soon after the Olympics, gaining citizenship through her marriage to a naturalised Swede of Ethiopian origin.