Tuesday 20 March 2018

Mo Farah: Athletes who knowingly resort to doping should be given longer bans

Mo Farah celebrates winning the men's 10,000 metres final during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing
Mo Farah celebrates winning the men's 10,000 metres final during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing

Mo Farah would like to see longer bans for athletes who intentionally take illegal drugs.

The 32-year-old racked up his seventh straight global title last month when he added the 5,000 metres crown to his 10,000m triumph at the World Championships in Beijing.

Farah wants his anti-doping blood test data to be made public, saying he will do what it takes to prove he is a clean athlete - and he has again spoken out about cheats in the sport.

Speaking on Piers Morgan's Life Stories, which airs on Friday evening, he was asked by the host what he thinks of athletes who take illegal drugs.

He said: "It depends what they get done for. If (it's) something that you do, you know what you're doing, then it should be - I think - a longer ban.

"Anywhere I am in the world I get a one-hour slot and testers can come in that hour and if I'm not there it's a missed test - and I believe all countries should be able to do what we're doing. If you're going to compete with me you have to do the same thing."

The two-time Olympic champion came under heavy scrutiny after it was alleged coach Alberto Salazar and his US team, the Nike Oregon Project, had violated anti-doping rules and doped US record holder Galen Rupp.

UK Athletics found no evidence of wrongdoing by Farah in the initial findings of its investigation into allegations of doping against Salazar, who strenuously denied all the accusations against him.

Farah, who was not accused of any wrongdoing in BBC's Panorama documentary, has vowed to stick by his coach unless any allegations are proven.

But asked for his thoughts about the suspicion that successful athletes have taken something illegal, he said: "It does annoy me a lot.

"The whole reason I moved to the US to be coached by Alberto Salazar is to be able to improve one or two per cent.

"I was sick of coming sixth in the world, seventh in the world, and get close to a medal, but not quite there, half-a-second, and that's why I moved to the other side of the world, and my training and a lot of stuff has changed, so people automatically think...sometimes it frustrated me."

He repeated his insistence he would never take an illegal substance, adding: "I don't see it...and for me, I've won a lot of medals, I'm clean and I can't do it. I'd never do that."

Farah is targeting another Olympic double in Rio next year, adding: "I want to definitely do it.

"My aim is to go out there and see if I can retain my titles and after that I'll probably maybe give it one more year on the track, where we have the London 2017 (World Championships), and then I'll probably run one or two marathons and retire.

"I want to be able to spend time with my family...it would be retiring from running, not retire in terms of becoming a coach or giving something back to the sport.

"We have to do something in Britain in terms of bringing (on) the next Mo."

Online Editors

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