British chiefs to launch Farah drug inquiry
Mo Farah's medical data will be scoured for evidence of doping following the drug allegations against his coach, the chairman of British Athletics announced yesterday.
Farah returned to Oregon on Sunday for talks with his coach Alberto Salazar, who was accused last week of plying his stablemate, Galen Rupp, with drugs.
However, it has emerged that the BBC informed Farah two years ago that whistleblowers from Salazar's camp had raised concerns with the United States Anti-Doping Agency about the coach's conduct.
British Athletics was also made aware at the same time although Ed Warner, the chairman, claimed that it was unable to investigate until the specific allegations involving Salazar and Rupp surfaced last week in the BBC 'Panorama' documentary.
An independent British Athletics inquiry has now been opened and Warner said that the governing body could suspend its relationship with Salazar and advise Farah to do the same, even if the investigation uncovers "nothing untoward".
"What we can look at is all the data surrounding our own athlete, Mo Farah: blood data, supplements data - everything surrounding his medical treatment," Warner said. "We're in charge of that. We run that from the UK, through Neil Black, our performance director, and Barry Fudge, who's our endurance expert. We need to make sure there's nothing else there we haven't seen."
He added: "It may well be that the outcome of our own investigation says there's nothing untoward going on as far as we can uncover in any way, shape or form around British Athletics and a British athlete.
"If, subsequently, the coach himself is proven to be guilty of doping offences, then there's a second stage there and a decision would need to be taken."
While UK Athletics has stuck by Salazar, who has been a consultant for the national governing body for two years, Warner said: "If I was a personal friend of Mo's - and not the British Athletics chairman - and he was coming to me for advice I might have said to him the best thing to do was suspend the relationship for now, compete on the European circuit this summer, go to the World Championships in Beijing, let the allegations against Alberto be washed through by Usada and see where it leads. (© Daily Telegraph, London)