first_imgShare on WhatsApp Share on LinkedIn Share via Email Support The Guardian Europe Marathon running Athletics Share on Pinterest Since you’re here… Share on Messengercenter_img Italy The organisers of a half-marathon in the northern Italian city of Trieste have backtracked on their decision to exclude African athletes from the race following accusations of racism.“After launching a provocation that hit a nerve, drawing great attention to a fundamental issue, contrary to what was communicated yesterday, we will also invite African athletes,” Fabio Carini, the manager of the Trieste running festival, said in a statement.Carini provoked fury on Saturday after saying only European professional runners would be invited to take part in the event on 5 May in order to draw attention to the exploitation of African athletes.“This year we decided to only take European athletes to make a point that measures must be taken to regulate what is a trade in very high-worth African athletes, who are simply exploited,” he originally told La Repubblica. “This is something we can no longer accept.”Carini argued that African runners were paid much less than they were worth.Isabella De Monte, an MEP with the centre-left Democratic party, led the outrage, suggesting the organisers were “cleansing sport”.“The exploitation of athletes is being used as a fig leaf – regarding such questions, there are places and appropriate bodies to turn to,” she added. “This is truly absurd: professionals are being prevented from taking part in a competition because they come from Africa.”Luigi Di Maio, the deputy prime minister, said while it was correct to call out the exploitation of African athletes, barring them from taking part in the race was “not the way to do it”.Giancarlo Giorgetti, the junior sports minister with the far-right League, pledged to open a parliamentary inquiry.As the controversy raged, the Italian Federation of Athletics said it had opened an investigation “to examine the facts and possible violations of its standards and regulations committed by affiliated clubs or licensees”.Olivier Irabaruta, an Olympic athlete from Burundi, was the male winner of last year’s Trieste half-marathon. Elvanie Nimbona, also from Burundi, won the women’s race. Topics … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook news Reuse this contentlast_img

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