UK Athletics performance director to leave role in wake of scandal which saw coach Alberto Salazar banned for four years
Neil Black is to leave his role as performance director of UK Athletics (UKA) at the end of October, the national governing body has announced.
UKA has been caught up in the controversy surrounding the four-year anti-doping ban of Alberto Salazar, with the governing body and Black having been heavily criticised in recent days for using the American as an advisor and allowing Mo Farah to work with him despite the coach being investigated by anti-doping officials.
Black is not implicated of any wrongdoing but his judgement has been questioned and he had come under pressure to leave his role less than 12 months before the Tokyo Olympics.
As the IAAF World Championships drew to a close last Sunday, one newspaper described Black’s position as untenable and the former physiotherapist, who succeeded Charles van Commenee as UKA performance director after the London Olympics, has not wasted much time in deciding to step down.
In a statement released on Tuesday, UKA said: “Neil Black will leave his role as performance director at the end of October.
“Neil will commence a detailed handover with performance staff until his departure and will fulfil his role supporting Mo Farah at this weekend’s Chicago Marathon.”
The US Anti-Doping Agency announced the four-year bans handed to Nike Oregon Project head coach Salazar and Dr Jeffrey Brown on September 30, following “multiple anti-doping rule violations”.
Farah was among Salazar’s Nike Oregon Project stable based in Portland between 2011 and 2017 and in 2013 the coach was hired by UKA as a consultant to the national governing body’s endurance programme.
Salazar has denied any wrongdoing and is appealing against his ban, while there is no suggestion that Farah has violated any rules.