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15 Oct 2019 12:16
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  •   Home > News > International

    Mo Farah claims innocence, points finger at media after former coach Alberto Salazar's doping ban

    British Olympic champion Mo Farah strongly denies former coach Alberto Salazar's doping ban has anything to do with him, and tells local media he feels "let down" by their coverage of him.


    Olympic champion Mo Farah has broken his silence on former coach Alberto Salazar's doping ban, defending himself from subsequent allegations and insinuating the coverage of the issue has been tinged with racism.

    Salazar was handed a four-year ban by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for possessing and trafficking testosterone while coaching some of the world's best runners.

    Farah is Salazar's star pupil, the most successful and famous athlete to train under him, but in his first televised interview since the doping ban was announced, the Briton stressed his innocence.

    "There is no allegation against me. I've not done anything wrong," Farah said.

    "Let's be clear, these allegations are about Alberto Salazar and not Mo Farah.

    "I am happy to be tested any time and anywhere and for my samples to be used for whatever they need to do. Keep it and freeze it, there is not much more I can do."

    Farah also compared himself to Lewis Hamilton and Raheem Sterling, two British athletes who have at times faced excessive scrutiny and criticism from the media due to their race.

    "I feel let down by you guys, to be honest," he said to the media in the room.

    "It's very disappointing to see you guys going at it again and again, and headlines, 'Farah, Farah, Farah'.

    "I am reading this story all the time. As much as I am nice to you, there is a clear agenda to this.

    "I have seen this many times. I have seen it with Raheem Sterling, with Lewis Hamilton. I cannot win, whatever I do."

    Farah's comments came in the wake of Nike closing down the Oregon Project, the track and field program formerly run by Salazar, citing "uninformed innuendo and unsubstantiated assertions" which the company says has proven to be an "unfair burden" for athletes.

    Salazar had been leading the program since its formation in 2001, and Farah had been a part of the program from 2011 to 2017.

    Farah defended Salazar, and said he was not aware of any doping during his time with the Oregon Project.

    "He [Salazar] assured me at the time these are just allegations, this is not true. He promised me that hasn't been true," he said.

    "I was never given anything. I am not on testosterone or whatever it is. At the time I never saw any wrongdoing when I was there.

    "It's taken four years for USADA to get to this position it has right now. The first time I am hearing it is when you guys are reporting it."

    © 2019 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved


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