The success of Rachid Ramzi, Moroccan by birth but Bahraini by adoption, has provoked lively controversy between bloggers over who should claim responsibility for his victory.
The athlete was the first to offer the Emirate state a world title at the 2005 championship in Helsinki, as well as a gold medal in Beijing – even though he ran under Morocco’s green and red before 2002.
So which country gets the titles? Morocco - the country that discovered and encouraged his talent? Or Bahrain - the land that offered him everything he needed to succeed?
The Moroccan Athletic Federation refused to comment on his achievement.
Moroccan journalist Bouzidi
explained that the country's weak infrastructure is responsible for Rachid
Ramzi's departure from Morocco.
The athlete has already spoken to foreign media about Morocco's modest athletic resources, and evoked the fact that the country does not support its athletes - not even its Olympic champions.
The federation's heads don‘t want to get involved with this controversy, as it's not the first time a Moroccan has chosen another country.
There was Mohieddine Benabed, naturalised as a French citizen and winner of the silver medal in the 3,000m steeple event. There is also Ball-Adil Rami, who recently declined an offer from Roger Lemerre, the Moroccan national football team coach, to join the team.
For Morocco, this is a closed case not to be discussed.
We still have yet to win gold in Beijing. I'm a little disgusted by the image of Rachid Ramzi after his victory draped in the Bahraini flag and refusing a Moroccan flag handed to him by a supporter of the country. He completely ignored that spectator. Honestly, I felt betrayed and humiliated at that moment. I think we should revoke his Moroccan citizenship. He's not patriotic.
After the kung fu world championships in China in 2007, I was offered citizenship from the Kingdom of Jordan.
Recently, Libya also presented me with an attractive offer to join its national team, and I must say, I was very tempted.
The Lybian Federation offered me many financial privileges as well as my personal medical team. Needless to say, both propositions were attractive, but I refused them.
They are overwhelmed by the irrepressible desire to raise their flags in international ceremonies, for national pride, and they are ready to invest some heavy sums to satiate this desire.
Athletes accept for many reasons. Material goods and the quality of care that is lacking in their country of origin, the astronomical sums offered. For me, it was my patriotism that prevented me twice from competing under other flags than the Tunisian flag.
But I completely understand that other athletes accept a foreign citizenship when their professional career and future is threatened by lack of means in their country of origin.