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Sunday, January 7, 2007

Bahraini athlete loses citizenship for competing in Israeli marathon

Bahraini athlete loses citizenship for competing in Israeli marathon
By Rami Hipsch and Yair Ben Ami, Haaretz Correspondents and The Associated
Press Last update - 04:36 07/01/2007

MANAMA, Bahrain - Authorities have revoked the Bahraini citizenship of an
athlete who ran in an Israeli marathon, the nation's athletic union said

Mushir Salem Jawher competed in and won the Tiberias Marathon in Israel on
Thursday, ending the race in just over 2 hours and 13 minutes.

Bahrain, like most Arab states, does not recognize Israel.

Jawher was born in Kenya in 1978 and moved to Bahrain in 2003, according to
the International Association of Athletics Federations. Some wealthy Arab
states, such as Bahrain and Qatar, have a history of granting top-notch
athletes citizenship in the hopes of racking up more wins in international

Bahrain's Athletic Union said in a statement Saturday that it had received
the news that a Bahraini national competed in Israel with "shock and

"The union deeply regrets what the athlete has done," the statement said. A
committee of sport and government authorities decided to strike Jawher's
name off the sport union records and strip him of his Bahraini nationality,
the statement said.

It said Jawher had entered Israel with his Kenyan passport and added that
the runner's Bahraini citizenship was revoked because he had "violated the
laws of Bahrain."

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