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Sweden to stand by Aregawi despite tax controversy

Sweden’s Ethiopian-born 1,500m runner Abeba Aregawi can run for Sweden at the upcoming World Indoor Championships in Portland despite a storm over her Swedish citizenship and tax affairs, officials said.

Expressen reported that Aregawi, who is due to defend her title in Oregon next month, had told Sweden’s migration board that she was resident in the country to gain citizenship but during a recent tax investigation into her affairs she said she had never lived there.

Sweden’s Athletics Association general secretary Stefan Olsson told Reuters the controversy would not affect Aregawi’s participation in Portland but she would be asked to explain the situation.

“She has done the right thing, the migration board have made their judgement and the tax authority have made theirs,” Olsson said.

“As long as the authorities have said okay, we have no reason to do anything else.”

Expressen reported that Aregawi, who also won the world outdoor 1,500 title in 2013, had told tax authorities that she was not liable for tax as she had never lived in the country.

This was at odds with a citizenship application made by the 25-year-old which entitled her to start competing for Sweden in 2012, according to the tax authority.

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