Thursday 8 December 2016

Farah keeps faith in coach Salazar

Nick Purewal

Published 07/06/2015 | 02:30

Mo Farah has said he will be standing by his coach Alberto Salazar, who has been accused of involvement in doping
Mo Farah has said he will be standing by his coach Alberto Salazar, who has been accused of involvement in doping

Mo Farah has refused to end his relationship with coach Alberto Salazar after claiming he has "not seen any clear evidence" the American has been involved in doping.

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Farah, speaking in Birmingham ahead of today's Grand Prix event, said his name had been "dragged through the mud" after accusations in a BBC documentary that Salazar administered banned substances.

The 32-year-old vowed to stand by his coach but said he wants answers as soon as possible, pledging to be the "first person to leave him" if it is proven Salazar did wrong.

"I'm not leaving Alberto, for the reason I've not seen any clear evidence," Farah said. "I spoke to Alberto, I got on the phone and said to him, 'Alberto, what's going on?' And he said, 'Mo, I can prove this to you, it's just allegations, I'll show you some evidence', and I said, 'Okay'.

"I'm really angry at this situation. It's not fair. I haven't done anything, but my name is getting dragged through the mud. It's something not in my control, but I want to know answers. If these things are true and Alberto has crossed the line, I'm the first person to leave him."

The Panorama programme on Wednesday night alleged that Salazar was involved in doping his athlete Galen Rupp, silver medallist at the 2012 London Olympics behind Farah in the 10,000 metres, when the American was only 16 years of age.

Salazar, who won the New York marathon three years in a row between 1980 and 1982, has worked with Farah since 2011 and has coached Rupp, the Briton's training partner, for 14 years. Neither Salazar nor Rupp appeared in the programme, but both have protested their innocence. There is no suggestion Farah broke any rules.

The athlete vowed to travel to Portland next week and challenge Salazar to produce evidence to prove his innocence, and he insisted he had never engaged in the use of thyroid medication nor had it recommended.

Farah also claimed he never had cause to fear Rupp was doping, saying: "I've not seen anything that suggests he's on something. I'm a clean athlete. I'm against drugs and I believe anyone that is caught should be banned for life. If Alberto can't show me the proof, then I'm out.

"It's just not right - it's something I've worked so hard for, everything I achieved. My name is associated with Alberto. It's not right, it's not fair and I'm angry.

"My reputation's getting ruined. You guys, you're killing me. What have I done? There are questions that need answering. There's kids out there look up to me, know how hard I work, what I put my body through day in, day out, 120 miles week in, week out.

"I just don't know how to explain it - it's hard. It's like, if you guys have something on me, bring it - I'm happy to share anything you want to know. But it's not about me, it's about Alberto. So let's put this on Alberto. Let's see if Alberto can prove to us. . . Until then, there's nothing we can do. I've got a big race on the weekend. If I don't win, you guys will give me a hard time."

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