Ethiopian long-distance runner Haile Gebrselassie has made known his intention to enter into politics with the aim of winning a parliamentary seat in the 2015 election.
The announcement follows long-standing rumours that his athletics career is drawing to a close.
He is regarded as a national icon by most Ethiopians. A two-time Olympic 10,000m champion and a four-time world 10,000m champion, he won gold at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games.
“A lot of messages in the news about me going into politics,” Mr. Haile said on Twitter (@HaileGebr).
“Yes, I want to be in the parliament in 2015 to help my country to move forward.”
He has not disclosed his party’s affiliation. Ethiopia’s parliament is dominated by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). It has only one opposition MP.
After officially announcing his retirement in 2010, Haile went on to compete in races after recovering from a knee injury.
In April, he won his third consecutive Vienna half marathon and also took part in the Boston marathon, which was hit by double bomb attack that killed three people.