Farah happy to be tested 'anytime and anywhere' amid Salazar questions

By Sports Desk October 11, 2019

Mo Farah said he is happy to be tested "anytime and anywhere" in a terse conversation with reporters as he made his first public comments since former coach Alberto Salazar was handed a four-year ban for doping violations.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) last week sanctioned Salazar and Dr Jeffrey Brown for "orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct while acting, respectively, as head coach of the Nike Oregon Project [NOP] and as a paid consultant for the NOP on performance enhancement and as physician for numerous athletes in the NOP".

Farah worked with Salazar, who strenuously denied any wrongdoing and plans to appeal the ban, from 2011 until 2017, a period in which the British long-distance runner won four Olympic gold medals.

Two independent three-member panels of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) found Salazar and Brown "possessed and trafficked a banned performance-enhancing substance and administered or attempted to administer a prohibited method to multiple track and field athletes", while the panel also found that both "committed tampering and complicity violations".

The allegations surrounding Salazar first surfaced in 2015. Farah has never been accused of any wrongdoing.

"At the time there was no allegation against me," Farah said ahead of the Chicago Marathon. "There were allegations against Alberto Salazar.

"I want to be clear and I'll be honest as I have since day one. I was out in Birmingham racing. I pulled out of the race in 2015.

"I flew to Portland to get some answers from Alberto. I talked to him face to face and he assured me at the time that it was just an allegation, this is not true, there are no allegations against you, Mo.

"He promised me and that hasn't been true.

"Why is my name in the headlines? I haven't done anything wrong. These allegations are about Alberto Salazar not Mo Farah.

"I haven't failed any tests. I'm happy to be tested anytime and anywhere. My tests can be used as samples and research. There is no more I can do.

"I have no tolerance for anyone who crosses the line. I have said that from day one.

"There is a clear agenda to this. I have seen it many times. I have seen it with Raheem Sterling. I’ve seen it with Lewis Hamilton. I can't win whatever I do."

Nike has elected to close down the Oregon Project in the wake of the suspension. 

Asked about that decision, Farah replied: "I've been out of the Oregon Project for two years, basing myself in London to focus on the marathon.

"It's not my decision to shut down the Oregon Project. It's Nike's decision – I'm Mo Farah."

Related items

  • CAS confirms Salazar appeal against four-year athletics ban CAS confirms Salazar appeal against four-year athletics ban

    Alberto Salazar has formally lodged an appeal against his four-year ban from athletics to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the ruling body has confirmed.

    Salazar, along with Dr Jeffrey Brown, received a hefty suspension after being found guilty of possessing and trafficking banned substances by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)

    Following news of Salazar's ban, Nike closed down the 61-year-old's Oregon Project, while the World Anti-Doping Agency and UK Anti-Doping Agency have confirmed athletes formerly coached by the American - including 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah - are set to be investigated.

    Salazar previously stated he would be appealing the ban, and CAS has now announced two cases have been opened, though it appears the hearings will not go ahead until March 2020 at the earliest.

    "CAS has registered the appeals filed by Mr Alberto Salazar and Dr Jeffrey Brown against USADA in relation to the decisions rendered by the American Arbitration Association, North American Court of Arbitration for Sport Panel on 30 September 2019 and 7 October 2019 respectively, in which they were found to have committed anti-doping rule violations and sanctioned with a four-year period of ineligibility," a statement read.

    "Two CAS arbitration procedures have been opened. The parties have requested additional time to file their written submissions and evidence.

    "Accordingly, at this stage, it appears that the hearings in these two matters are unlikely to take place before March 2020."

  • Salazar-trained British athletes face UKAD scrutiny Salazar-trained British athletes face UKAD scrutiny

    UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) says it will review whether any action is required against British athletes who were trained by the now banned coach Alberto Salazar.

    The organisation released a statement on Tuesday after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced that it would investigate Salazar's former pupils.

    Salazar was banned from coaching during the World Athletics Championships in Doha, after he – along with Dr Jeffrey Brown – was found guilty of possessing and trafficking banned substances after a four-year investigation by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

    The verdict preceded Salazar's Nike Oregon Project being shut down, though the 61-year-old stated he will appeal his four-year ban.

    Farah, who Salazar helped become the most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic Games history, claimed in October that there was an "agenda" against him after he was questioned over his former coach's actions.

    But he will be one of the athletes to come under the spotlight of UKAD's review.

    "We have been working with USADA on their investigation into the Nike Oregon Project and will work with WADA on their investigation if there is any evidence that relates to athletes or athlete support personnel under our jurisdiction," UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead said in a statement.

    "We are reviewing the decision regarding Alberto Salazar to determine if there is any action we may wish to take as a national anti-doping organisation."

    Farah has always maintained his innocence and has not been found guilty of any wrongdoing. 

  • Mo Farah and other Salazar athletes set to be investigated by WADA Mo Farah and other Salazar athletes set to be investigated by WADA

    Mo Farah and other athletes who trained under Alberto Salazar are to be investigated by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

    Salazar was banned from coaching during the World Athletics Championships in Doha, after he – along with Dr Jeffrey Brown – were found guilty of possessing and trafficking banned substances after a four-year investigation by the US Anti-Doping Agency.

    The verdict resulted in Salazar's Nike Oregon Project being shut down, though the 61-year-old stated he will appeal his four-year ban.

    Farah, who Salazar helped become the most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic Games history, claimed in October that there was an "agenda" against him after he was questioned over his former coach's actions.

    However, Farah – along with athletes who previously worked with Salazar – will now be scrutinised by WADA, according to its president Craig Reedie.

    "The clear question is did any of the allegations concerning Salazar and his operations result in athletes cheating themselves, which might have influenced their performance and might have involved the winning of competitions," Reedie told BBC Sport.

    "We need to look at that and we will."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.