UKA finds no evidence of wrongdoing by Mo Farah

Mo Farah: Questioned. Picture: Getty
Mo Farah: Questioned. Picture: Getty
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UK Athletics has found no evidence of wrongdoing by Mo Farah in the initial findings of its investigation into allegations of doping against his coach Alberto Salazar.

Salazar, who is an “unpaid consultant” for UKA, has strenuously denied all the accusations against him and Farah, who was not accused of any wrongdoing in the BBC documentary, has vowed to stick by his coach unless any allegations are proven.

UKA launched a review into the American’s relationship with the governing body and Farah, which was undertaken by its three-person Performance Oversight Group, comprising former athletes Jason Gardener, Dr Sarah Rowell and Anne Wafula-Strike.

A statement from UKA said: “With reference to the first and most vital objective of the review, the Board can confirm that none of the extensive information supplied to the POG contained any evidence of impropriety on the part of Mo Farah, nor gave UK Athletics any reason to question the appropriateness of the input given by the Oregon Project to Mo Farah’s training regime.”

Farah was questioned by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in a routine meeting at a central London hotel on Saturday, a day after he received a warm reception on a winning return to the Olympic Stadium for the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games.

UKA said the formal investigations by USADA and UK Anti-Doping into the allegations against Salazar meant the findings from its own review “will now need to be shared with UKAD, at their request, prior to any wider circulation”.

It said that its board therefore does not expect to make a public announcement on its full findings until after the World Championships in Beijing, which finish on 30 August.

UKA added it “continues to take the issue of doping violations in sport extremely seriously and will assist UKAD and other relevant authorities in their important work whenever required”.

Farah is currently training at his base in Font Romeu in the Pyrenees as he gears up for the defence of his 5,000 and 10,000 metres titles in Beijing.

The initial findings will come as a welcome boost for the 32-year-old, whose performances on the track, amid a tumultuous summer off it, have been impressive.

In Beijing he will be aiming to become the first man to complete the long-distance double at two World Championships.

Meanwhile, Sebastian Coe has edged closer to securing the IAAF presidency after winning public declarations of support of 12 European countries.

Lord Coe is running against Sergey Bubka, the former Olympic pole vault champion from Ukraine, with the election to take place on 19 August in Beijing.

Coe’s team insist they are taking nothing for granted in the run-up to the election but nevertheless the declarations indicate he is well out in front in the race to succeed Lamine Diack.

The double Olympic 1,500 metres gold medallist and former London 2012 chairman has been promised the support of Athletic Association Small States of Europe (AASSE), a group of nine countries, plus Estonia, Ireland and Italy.

Jonas Egilsson, president of the AASSE, told www.insidethegames.biz that the nine countries had decided to vote for Coe as president and Bubka as vice-president. The group is made up of Andorra, Cyprus, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro and San Marino.

Coe, who is also chairman of the British Olympic Association, is continuing to campaign hard – he is visiting Romania at the weekend to attend a regional athletics event involving Balkan countries, and then heading to Costa Rica for a similar event involving nations from north and central America.

He has been targeting the small nations and has promised an “Olympic athletics dividend” to all of the IAAF’s 214 member federations if he is elected. This pay-out would be funded through half of the fee received from the International Olympic Committee and would be more than $100,000 US (£64,000) for each federation.