Running / Israeli Held in Ethiopian Jail

Israeli marathon runner Haile Satain, who is set to represent Israel in the Beijing Olympics, has been arrested in Ethiopia for unknown reasons.

The Ethiopian Athletics Association recently informed its Israeli counterpart that the 53-year-old runner was arrested at his training camp and transferred to the capital, Addis Ababa.

"The Israeli Athletics Association will do everything in its power to get Satain out of prison soon and return to his training routine so that he will be in good shape for the Olympics," said Shlomo Ben Gal, the association's chairman.

Satain underwent a similar ordeal half a year ago when he was training in Ethiopia ahead of the Tiberias marathon. He was incarcerated after an acquaintance complained that he owed him money, and was released only after the Foreign Ministry intervened.

On that occasion, Satain said he did not eat or sleep during the three days he was held in custody. Despite the ordeal, the runner arrived in Israel on the morning of the Tiberias marathon and participated in the event, but had to quit after the 35th kilometer.

In 2006, Satain came first place in the Tiberias Marathon when he completed his run in an hour, five minutes and six seconds.