LONDON: Britain’s double Olympic champion Mo Farah reiterated Wednesday he was “100 percent clean” as doping allegations continued to swirl around coach Alberto Salazar.
Significantly, Farah has not been accused of wrongdoing but the winner of the 5,000 and 10,000 metres at the 2012 London Olympics feels his name is being tarnished by association and he again said Wednesday he would stop working with Salazar were the allegations upheld.
“I am not on anything, trust me,” Farah told Sky Sports News. “To be labelled something you are not and labelled a cheat is not fair: prove I am a cheat or leave me alone.
“Let’s get to the bottom of this. It is killing me, killing my family,” he added.
Last month, a BBC/ProPublica documentary alleged that former New York Marathon champion Salazar, a 56-year-old Cuban-born American, violated anti-doping rules by administering testosterone to American distance runner Galen Rupp in 2002 when Rupp — a training partner of Farah – was only 16, and encouraging misuse of prescription drugs.
Last week, Salazar published a lengthy open letter refuting the allegations against him but Kara Goucher, one of the athletes who has accused her former coach of breaking ant-doping rules, was unimpressed.
Salazar portrayed her husband, former athlete Adam Goucher, as “belligerent” and said he dismissed the couple from his Nike Oregon Project training group.
“I understand that if you read it through it looks like I’m a liar,” Kara Goucher said. “I don’t like being labelled a liar, just like anyone else.
“I want people to like me but my love for the sport is much stronger than my passion to have people like me.”
Meanwhile Farah called for swift action by the British and US anti-doping agencies to establish, once and for all, the truth of the allegations.
“UK Anti-Doping and USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) need to get on top of this and deal with it properly as it is overshadowing athletics,” Farah said.
“They are just allegations. If there is wrongdoing I will be the first person to run (away) but you have to give people a chance in life and the benefit of the doubt.”
When the allegations first came to light, Farah withdrew from the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham, central England, in order to question Salazar.
“I was shocked. I couldn’t believe what I saw. I am the first person to say ‘Look, what’s going on?’, I wanted answers,” he added.
“I work so hard for what I do. It has taken me half of my life to achieve what I achieved and for people to think I am taking a shortcut is not fair. I am 100 percent clean.
“I want to continue winning medals but I want people to know I am 100 percent clean and am not on any drugs.
“This picture of me as a cheat is not right, it’s not fair. Why me?
“I said ‘You need to assure me’. He said ‘Mo, I am working on this, I will come out and disprove these allegations. These are just allegations and I can prove this to you’.
“I believed in him. He (now) needs to prove it to the public.”
He added:. “Alberto has coached me and helped me; there is no question I have won medals with Alberto.
“But if he has crossed the line and is proven to have done so then I am out, trust me.”