An Ethiopian runner named Girmawit Gebrzihair is in the midst of an international scandal. The scandal started when images of her running at the World U20 Championships caused people to debate whether she is really eligible to take part in "junior" events.
According to IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations), Girmawit was born in November 2001, But many people suspect a fraud -claiming she doesn’t look like a 16-year-old teenager.
Girmawit was in the spotlight after she finished in third place in the women’s 5000m event on Tuesday, the opening day of the tournament which kicked off in Finland. But it wasn't Gebrzihair’s bronze medal finish, but her LOOKS thate were widely discussed after the event - with many journalists doubting that the runner’s real age was 16.
Some athletes even compared the athlete with “a grandmother” mocking that Gebrzihair must have been supported by her grandchildren in the stands.
One cruel commentator wrote: “16? That woman has lived through the American Civil War, two world wars and saw Pele's Brazil lift the 1970 World Cup.”
Another said: “That's Benjamin Button's cousin.”
A third added: “Is there no other way of controlling these things apart from looking at a passport? It is hard to believe.”
Also taking aim at the runner was Spanish sprinter Oscar Husillos, 24.
He tweeted a picture of Gebrzihair with the caption, in Spanish, saying: “Her children and grandchildren are in the stands to see her run in the World U20 Championships.”
Husillos has since deleted the tweet and posted a string of messages saying it was taken “out of context” and his words had been “misinterpreted”.