Frustrated Farah fires back at today’s newspaper doping allegations

Mo Farah has reacted to today’s front-page story in The Sunday Times that claims his coach, Alberto Salazar, broke anti-doping rules by stressing he is a clean athlete.

“It’s deeply frustrating that I’m having to make an announcement on this subject,” Farah said on Sunday on his Facebook page. “I am a clean athlete who has never broken the rules in regards to substances, methods or dosages and it is upsetting that some parts of the media, despite the clear facts, continue to try to associate me with allegations of drug misuse.

“I’m unclear as to The Sunday Times’s motivations towards me but I do understand that using my name and profile makes the story more interesting but it’s entirely unfair to make assertions when it is clear from their own statements that I have done nothing wrong.

“As I’ve said many times before we all should do everything we can to have a clean sport and it is entirely right that anyone who breaks the rules should be punished. However, this should be done through proper process and if USADA or any other anti-doping body has evidence of wrongdoing they should publish it and take action rather than allow the media to be judge and jury.”

Farah’s statement follows the leak of a United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) report suggesting Salazar may have broken anti-doping rules to improve the performance of his athletes.

The report obtained by the newspaper from the Russian hackers ‘Fancy Bears’ claims Salazar gave athletes legal prescription drugs when they had no medical need for them and alleges he used a banned method of infusing a supplement called L-carnitine.

L-carnitine is not banned but infusions of more than 50ml within a six-hour period are not allowed.

USADA released a statement saying it “can confirm that it has prepared a report in response to a subpoena from a state medical licensing body regarding care given by a physician to athletes associated with the Nike Oregon Project”.

The anti-doping body added: “It appears that a draft of this report was leaked to The Sunday Times by the Russian state-affiliated hacker group known as Fancy Bears. We understand that the licensing body is still deciding its case and as we continue to investigate whether anti-doping rules were broken, no further comment will be made at this time.

“Importantly, all athletes, coaches and others under the jurisdiction of the World Anti-Doping Code are innocent and presumed to have complied with the rules unless and until the established anti-doping process declares otherwise. It is unfair and reckless to state, infer or imply differently.”

Almost two years ago Salazar released a lengthy open letter of 12,000 words that denied all anti-doping allegations and a UK Athletics investigation concluded there was “no evidence of impropriety” relating to his coaching relationship with Farah.

Salazar also reacted to this latest story on Sunday, too, with a shorter statement that read: “The Times has simply recycled old allegations that have been refuted almost two years ago. I have clearly and repeatedly refuted allegations directly against me and the Oregon Project. I believe in a clean sport and a methodical, dedicated approach to training. The Oregon Project will never permit doping and all Oregon Project athletes are required to comply with the WADA Code and IAAF rules.

He added: “I do not use supplements that are banned. L-carnitine is a widely available, legal nutritional supplement that is not banned by WADA. Any use of L-carnitine was done so within WADA guidelines. In this case, to ensure my interpretation of WADA rules was correct, I also communicated in writing with USADA in advance of the use and administration of L-carnitine with Oregon Project athletes.

“Oregon Project athletes were then administered L-carnitine in exactly the same way USADA directed. I have voluntarily cooperated with USADA for years and met with them over a year ago. The leaking of information and litigation of false allegations in the press is disturbing, desperate and a denial of due process. I look forward to this unfair and protracted process reaching the conclusion I know to be true.”