Saturday 21 October 2017

I've seen nothing to make me doubt Mo, insists British chief

British athletics performance director Neil Black. Photo: PA
British athletics performance director Neil Black. Photo: PA

British Athletics performance director Neil Black has never seen anything which has made him doubt Mo Farah's defence against doping claims.

Four-time Olympic champion Farah has been dogged by allegations - he strenuously denies any wrongdoing - ahead of the start of the World Championships in London, which get under way today.

Farah's coach Alberto Salazar is reportedly not attending the showpiece event as he continues to be under investigation by the US Anti-Doping Agency.

Last month hackers Fancy Bears released documents they claimed were from the sport's governing body, the IAAF.

The collective released a tranche of documents and emails on its website, claiming it wanted "to show the scale of doping violations in track and field" and shine a light on flaws in doping measures.

The IAAF later apologised to the athletes involved, and there is no suggestion of wrongdoing by Farah.

The 34-year-old is aiming to defended his world 5,000m and 10,000m titles again after double triumphs in Moscow and Beijing.

Farah begins his quest in the 10,000m tonight, and Black continued to back his athlete.

"Of course you look people in the eye, and you have to work out and ask the question, 'Do I believe is there is anything that suggests otherwise?' There is nothing at all that suggests otherwise to me," he said.

"I understand if you read information and if you talk to people, it is very easy for people to fall into the trap of seeking fault and blame - talking negatively and building this picture. It seems to be a natural human trait that we all do - we make something into something else.

"There was nothing in the leaked report which was a surprise or a shock to me personally."

Black dismissed the significance of Salazar's absence and insisted it will not affect Farah.

"The thing which is so special about Mo is he doesn't need any of us. He can do it himself but he enjoys the fact people support him, want to work with him and give him direction," he said.

Irish Independent

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