Saturday 24 March 2018

Under-fire Salazar facing private testing claims

Alberto Salazar has had a number of allegations levelled against him in recent weeks
Alberto Salazar has had a number of allegations levelled against him in recent weeks

Ben Bloom

Alberto Salazar allegedly hired a private drug-testing company to ensure that his athletes would not trigger a failed test, it is understood.

The under-fire American coach is also facing allegations that he repeatedly applied for permission to use medication he did not require during his career as an elite runner.

Salazar, who coaches Mo Farah, has been accused in recent weeks of violating a number of doping regulations including exploiting the therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) system to give his athletes an edge without medical justification.

It has been earned that Salazar's association with suspicious exemptions actually dates back to the 1980s when he would allegedly put in regular applications for conditions he was deemed not to suffer from.

A number of his former athletes have claimed he encouraged them to do the same and a report today claims Salazar employed an external company to check whether anything that his Nike Oregon Project runners were taking would result in a doping breach.

Don Catlin, one of the world's leading anti-doping experts and founding father of drug-testing in sport, says he was shown a report commissioned by Salazar not long after the Nike Oregon Project coaching facility was established in 2001.

"I was asked to review a list of drugs tests that somebody had requested from a company that did testing," said Catlin. "That person turned out to be Salazar.

"I just thought to myself he's looking and checking to make sure that whatever he's doing isn't going to ring any bells."

It is not known whether the report showed any failed values or exactly which of Salazar's athletes took part in the testing, although it precedes the time that Farah joined the camp in 2011.

Among the allegations brought against Salazar by the BBC's Panorama earlier this month was one that he used his son Alex to apply testosterone gel to determine how much would trigger a positive test.

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