Asylum-seekers banned

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The Independent Online
Three Ethiopian women athletes who are seeking political asylum in Britain have been banned from an international road race in London on Sunday. Their national federation is angry that they refused to return home after the World Cross-Country Championships in Durham a month ago.

Askale Bereda, Bernane Dagne and Getenesh Tamirat went into hiding in south London and have now been given a six-month extension to their visas by the Home Office.

Organisers invited the three to compete in a 5km race forming part of the Reebok festival of running in Battersea Park. But permission was refused - and the International Amateur Athletic Federation has faxed this decision to the British Federation to ensure it is implemented.

Tony Barratt, Reebok UK's brand manager for running, said: "We are extremely disappointed at the action.''