UK Athletics commissions probe into dealings with former Mo Farah coach Alberto Salazar

Alberto Salazar plans to challenge his suspension at the CASAlberto Salazar plans to challenge his suspension at the CAS
Alberto Salazar plans to challenge his suspension at the CAS
UK Athletics has commissioned an independent review into its dealing with former Mo Farah coach Alberto Salazar and his Nike Oregon Project.

The American coach, who worked with Farah between 2011 and 2017, was banned for four years by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in October and confirmed earlier this month that he intended to challenge the sanction at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Farah, who won gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m events at the last two Olympic Games, has never failed a drugs test and has always strongly denied violating any anti-doping rules.

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The independent review will be headed up by sports law barrister John Mehrzad, who played a key role in the review into climate and culture at British Cycling as well as chairing a review into governance within the British Equestrian Federation.

The panel is expected to publish its findings by next spring on a range of questions relating to UK Athletics' response to allegations against Salazar in 2015 and again in 2017.

Mehrzad is expected to probe several aspects of the governing body's actions and processes, including response to the "Catch me if you can" Panorama investigation and the USADA leak by the Fancy Bears hacking group in 2017.

UK Athletics chair Chris Clark said: "Our staff, athletes and coaches show immense dedication to this sport and are proud to be associated with British Athletics.

"We need to ensure we have a clear way forward that gives us confidence in the integrity of our coaching efforts.

"If there are lessons to be learnt, we plan to implement any recommendations into a future focused, transparent and accountable way of working."

Sarah Rowell, who chaired the 2015 Nike Oregon Project review, added: "There has been much written about what the Oregon Project review looked into, found or concluded in 2015, and I therefore welcome this review as an opportunity to establish the full facts and for those facts to be published for all to see."

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