Mo FARAH has refused to end his relationship with coach Alberto Salazar after claiming he has “not seen any clear evidence” the American has been involved in doping.
Farah, pictured, speaking in Birmingham yesterday afternoon ahead of today’s Grand Prix event, vented frustrations his name has been “dragged through the mud” following accusations in a BBC documentary that Salazar administered banned substances.
The 32-year-old vowed to stand by his coach but wants answers as soon as possible, pledging to be the “first person to leave him” if it was proven Salazar had done wrong.
“I’m not leaving Alberto, for the reason I’ve not seen any clear evidence,” Farah said.
“I spoke to Alberto [on Friday night], I got on the phone and said to him, ‘Alberto, what’s going on?’ and he said, ‘Mo, I can prove this to you – it’s just allegations – I’ll show you some evidence’, and I said, ‘Okay’.
“I’m really angry at this situation. It’s not fair, it’s not right. I haven’t done anything but my name’s getting dragged through the mud.
“It’s something not in my control but I want to know answers. I need to know what’s going on – if these things are true, if they’re not true.
“If they turn out to be true, and Alberto has crossed the line, I’m the first person to leave him.”
UK Athletics said earlier in the day that it had “absolutely no concerns” over the conduct and coaching methods of Salazar in relation to Farah, after the American was accused in the Panorama documentary on Wednesday night of doping his athlete Galen Rupp, silver medallist at the 2012 London Olympics behind Farah in the 10,000 metres, when the American was only 16 years of age.
A statement from UK Athletics yesterday read: “Following the broadcast of BBC’s Panorama programme on Wednesday, UK Athletics has carefully considered the content.
“Whilst acknowledging the gravity of the allegations, UK Athletics can confirm it has had absolutely no concerns over the conduct and coaching methods of Alberto Salazar in relation to Mo Farah or in his role as an endurance consultant.”
The UKA statement added, however, that its board had met and put in place a group to undertake a “focused review of the performance management system surrounding Mo Farah and the endurance programme, engaging relevant independent experts where required”.
The review will begin immediately, and has been “welcomed and supported” by Farah and performance director Neil Black.
Salazar, who won the New York marathon three years in a row between 1980 and 1982 and was also a Boston marathon winner, has worked with Farah since 2011 and has coached the Briton’s training partner Rupp for 14 years.
Neither Salazar nor Rupp appeared in the BBC programme, but both men protested their innocence in statements.
There is no suggestion that Farah has broken any rules, and the Olympic 5000m and 10,000m champion told the BBC: ‘’I have not taken any banned substances and Alberto has never suggested that I take a banned substance.”
UKA said it regarded the Salazar allegations with “utmost seriousness” and backed the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to get to the bottom of the matter.
“As an organisation with a proven anti-doping commitment, we view the allegations made in regard of non-British athletes who have been coached by Alberto Salazar with utmost seriousness,” it read. “It is the role of the appropriate independent anti-doping agencies to investigate these further.
“We repeat our call for them to do so at the earliest opportunity, and to share those findings so that we can take any appropriate actions.
“With regard to British athletes, we believe that the process/safeguards and systems that we have in place around our own athletes are appropriate.”
The BBC programme also heard claims that testosterone was seen on several occasions by athletes and staff and that Salazar tested testosterone cream on a human subject, to find out how much it would take to trigger a positive drugs test.
It is also alleged Salazar encouraged the use of therapeutic use exemptions which allow athletes to use a banned substance or method to treat a legitimate medical condition.