Olympic and world champion keeps faith with controversial coach after Salazar’s lengthy anti-doping statement
Mo Farah has decided to stick with coach Alberto Salazar. After mulling over the decision in recent days, the British distance runner issued a statement on Facebook on Friday to confirm that he would be remaining loyal to the man who guided him to two gold medals in London 2012.
“Following all the speculation I want to make it clear where I stand,” he said. “Although it’s been a difficult time, I asked Alberto to respond to the allegations made against him and he has now done so in full.”
Farah continued: “As someone I’ve worked with for many years, I feel I have to believe in Alberto and the evidence he has provided. Based on that evidence, I will continue to work with him and hope now that I can focus on what I do best – training hard to win medals for my country.”
The statement follows a period of uncertainty that began with Salazar being accused of doping practises in a BBC Panorama programme. Drawn into the cross-fire, Farah pulled out of the recent Diamond League in Birmingham as a result of the speculation and pressure. He returned to the United States to speak to Salazar and then travelled to Font Romeu in the French Pyrenees where he has been training for the second half of the track season under the supervision of Barry Fudge from British Athletics.
Then, on Wednesday this week, Salazar put out a 11,600-word riposte where he denied all doping accusations. There have never, it should be added, been any firm doping accusations levelled at Farah himself.
Following Farah’s statement, UK Athletics chief executive Niels de Vos said: “British Athletics note and respect Mo Farah’s decision to continue his coaching relationship with Alberto Salazar. As is normal at this time of the year, Mo is currently training at altitude under the guidance of British Athletics as he prepares for the August defence of his world titles in Beijing.
“As has always been the case, British Athletics will continue to take responsibility for all nutritional, medical and sport science elements of Mo Farah’s training regimen.”
Ed Warner, UKA’s chairman, added: “Our independent review will continue and will report its findings and recommendations, as previously announced, in early August.”