According to organiser Fabio Carini there is today "a commercial trade in African runners" who are "exploited and underpaid". "This is unacceptable and we can no longer let pass. It is time that measures be taken. To make that clear, we have decided this year only European athletes to invite", Carini quoted in La Repubblica.
The remarkable decision put the organisation on a lot of criticism. Among others, mep Isabella De Monte talks about a "purification in the sport".
"Professional athletes are denied because they are from Africa. We have to be careful, because we say it months. The situation threatens out of our hands slip and we slide down to the dark hours. On such decisions can be only one reaction: outrage. Sports is parts, one, equality, loyalty and respect. That we teach our children. But what example do we give with such decisions", she wonders.