Thursday 29 September 2016

UK Athletics has "absolutely no concerns" over Mo Farah's coach despite doping allegations

Published 06/06/2015 | 13:08

Mo Farah pictured running with banned doper Hamza Driouch
Mo Farah pictured running with banned doper Hamza Driouch

UK Athletics has "absolutely no concerns" over the conduct and coaching methods of Alberto Salazar in relation to Mo Farah after the American was accused of administering banned substances in a BBC documentary.

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The Panorama documentary 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.

A statement from UK Athletics on Saturday read: "Following the broadcast of BBC's Panorama programme on Wednesday, UK Athletics has carefully considered the content.

"Whilst acknowledging the gravity of the allegations, UK Athletics can confirm it has had absolutely no concerns over the conduct and coaching methods of Alberto Salazar in relation to Mo Farah or in his role as an endurance consultant."

The UKA statement added, however, that its board had met and put in place a group to undertake a "focused review of the performance management system surrounding Mo Farah and the endurance programme, engaging relevant independent experts where required".

The review will begin immediately, and has been "welcomed and supported" by Farah and performance director Neil Black.

Salazar, who won the New York marathon three years in a row between 1980 and 1982 and was also a Boston marathon winner, has worked with Farah since 2011 and has coached the Briton's training partner Rupp for 14 years.

Neither Salazar nor Rupp appeared in the BBC programme, but both men protested their innocence in statements.

There is no suggestion that Farah has broken any rules, and the Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m champion told the BBC: ''I have not taken any banned substances and Alberto has never suggested that I take a banned substance."

UKA said it regarded the Salazar allegations with "utmost seriousness" and backed the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to get to the bottom of the matter.

"As an organisation with a proven anti-doping commitment, we view the allegations made in regard of non-British athletes who have been coached by Alberto Salazar with utmost seriousness," it read.

"It is the role of the appropriate independent anti-doping agencies to investigate these further.

"We repeat our call for them to do so at the earliest opportunity, and to share those findings so that we can take any appropriate actions.

"With regard to British athletes, we believe that the process/safeguards and systems that we have in place around our own athletes are appropriate."

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