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

By Sports Desk November 04, 2019

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."

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  • FIFA in contact with WADA to clarify Russia ban FIFA in contact with WADA to clarify Russia ban

    FIFA has made contact with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to clarify how Russia's ban from major international sporting events applies to football.

    On Monday, WADA's Executive Committee endorsed a recommended four-year ban for Russia, with the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) declared non-compliant again over inconsistencies in anti-doping data discovered during an investigation.

    The suspension means athletes will not be able to compete under the Russian flag at the 2020 Olympics or the 2022 Winter Games.

    It would also appear to prevent Russia from entering the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, although WADA's International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories does not list UEFA as a "major event organisation", so Stanislav Cherchesov's side will be free to compete at Euro 2020.

    However, the Russian Football Union said it was hopeful football would not be impacted but it was waiting to hear from FIFA.

    FIFA is yet to reveal its stance on the suspension but has confirmed to Omnisport it is in contact with WADA and the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF).

    "FIFA has taken note of the decision taken by WADA Executive Committee today," a FIFA spokesperson said.

    "FIFA is in contact with WADA and ASOIF to clarify the extent of the decision in regards to football."

    RUSADA has 21 days to appeal the suspension, which would see its case referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    Jonathan Taylor, chair of the Compliance Review Committee that recommended the sanction, told a news conference: "It is the event that decides the world champion that is covered by the ban."

    However, Taylor acknowledged each sport would be assessed on a "case-by-case basis".

    "Let's be clear about the totality of this package. It's a four-year package and relates to a number of different things," he said. "In terms of participation, the standard is clear.

    "There will be no flag at the events that are covered. There will not be a Russian flag and athletes will not be competing as representatives of Russia.

    "The details from sport to sport will have to differ because some are team sports, some are individual sports. There is going to have to be a case-by-case basis.

    "Nevertheless, what is important to note is that the standard says it is under the control and approval of WADA to ensure appropriate and standardised enforcement.

    "That may, if there is a CAS case, be taken to CAS so it can see and endorse it itself.

    "Can we be definitive now in every case as to what it will mean? No, but the standard is clear. They will not be there as representatives of Russia."

    WADA president Craig Reedie said in a statement the body had delivered "a robust response".

    "Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and re-join the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and of the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial," he said.

    Other concerned parties, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), can also appeal to CAS if RUSADA chooses not to.

    An appeal from the IOC, another Olympic committee or an international federation - such as FIFA - would have to come within 21 days of RUSADA accepting WADA's decision.

  • International Olympic Committee supports four-year Russia ban International Olympic Committee supports four-year Russia ban

    The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has reiterated its support for Russia's four-year ban from major international sporting events imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

    WADA declared the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) non-compliant again at a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Monday over inconsistencies in anti-doping data discovered during an investigation.

    Athletes will not be able to compete under the Russian flag at the 2020 Olympics or the 2022 Winter Games, while Russia's place at the World Cup in Qatar is also in jeopardy.

    The IOC had supported the recommended sanction last month and retained its stance following the announcement.

    "The representatives of the Olympic Movement today [Monday] supported this unanimous decision in the WADA Executive Committee, which is in line with the statement made by the IOC Executive Board [on November 26] and endorsed by the Olympic Summit," a statement released to Omnisport read.

    The IOC said in November it would "support the toughest sanctions against all those responsible for this manipulation".

    It added: "With regard to the sanctions following this manipulation, we will still have to evaluate these in detail.

    "The IOC emphasises that any sanctions should follow the rules of natural justice and respect human rights.

    "Therefore, the IOC stresses that the guilty should be punished in the toughest way possible because of the seriousness of this infringement and thus welcomes the sanctions for the Russian authorities responsible."

    WADA's statement on Monday said: "The WADA Executive Committee has responded in the strongest possible terms, while protecting the rights of Russian athletes that can prove that they were not involved and did not benefit from these fraudulent acts."

  • Russia hopeful WADA ban will not impact World Cup Russia hopeful WADA ban will not impact World Cup

    The Russian Football Union (RFU) is hopeful Russia's four-year ban from international sporting events will not impact their potential participation in the 2022 World Cup.

    The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) declared the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) non-compliant again at a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Monday.

    A WADA panel had recommended the ban over inconsistencies in anti-doping data discovered during an investigation.

    Athletes will not be able to compete under the Russian flag at the 2020 Olympics or the 2022 Winter Games, while Russia's place at the World Cup in Qatar is also in jeopardy.

    FIFA is yet to reveal its stance on the suspension, but the RFU is optimistic Russia will be present in Qatar if they are successful in their qualification campaign, while it is keen for hosting opportunities in football also to be unaffected.

    The International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories does not list UEFA as a "major event organisation", so Russia will also be free to compete at Euro 2020, with St Petersburg acting as one of the host cities.

    "The RFU has not yet received an official FIFA position by decision of WADA," a widely reported statement read.

    "We closely monitor compliance with the anti-doping policy and hope that there will not be any restrictions on the part of FIFA for our teams, as well as the organisation of events or competitions in Russia."

    RFU honorary president Vyacheslav Koloskov – formerly a vice-president of FIFA – is "firmly convinced" there will be no issues for the national football team.

    "Will we go to the World Cup under our flag? I still have to go there, but I can't say anything about the team," Koloskov told Championat. "There is no FIFA reaction yet.

    "We must carefully discuss this topic, but I am firmly convinced that these prohibitions will not affect football. And at the European Championship, we will definitely compete under our flag."

    UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has welcomed WADA's decision and adds it hopes any appeal process is swift with the Olympic Games in Tokyo just seven-and-a-half months away.

    "We welcome today's decision to declare RUSADA non-compliant, and the decisive action by WADA's Executive Committee (ExCo) to impose four-year sanctions on Russian athletes and support personnel," UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead said. 

    "This was the only possible outcome that the WADA ExCo could take to reassure athletes and the public and continue the task of seeking justice for those cheated by Russian athletes.

    "We know however that this is not necessarily the end of the matter. If RUSADA chooses to appeal this decision to CAS [the Court of Arbitration for Sport], this must be carried out with minimal delay, especially in light of the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. 

    "We welcome the clear and detailed communication from WADA today [Monday] which is vital in helping to maintain confidence in the global anti-doping system."

    RUSADA has 21 days to appeal the suspension, which would see its case referred to CAS.

    Other concerned parties, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), can also appeal if RUSADA chooses not to.

    An appeal from the IOC, another Olympic committee or an international federation would have to come within 21 days of RUSADA accepting WADA's decision.

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