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17th October 2019

Mo Farah’s former coach Alberto Salazar guilty of doping violations

James Owen takes a look at athletics’ most recent doping scandal
Mo Farah’s former coach Alberto Salazar guilty of doping violations
Photo: Cal Hopkins @ Wikimedia Commons

Alberto Salazar, the former coach of four-time gold medallist, Sir Mo Farah, has been banned for four years after being found guilty, alongside Dr Jeffrey Brown, of doping violations.

Dr Jeffery Brown was a Nike-paid endocrinologist and, alongside Salazar, is said to have administered or attempted to administer a prohibited substance to multiple athletes. An arbitration panel found that testosterone was administered by a prohibited IV infusion. Salazar was also found guilty of attempting to tamper with Nike Oregon Project athletes’ doping control process.

Travis Tygart, the CEO of US Anti-Doping, praised the numerous whistleblowers who came forward. He also condemned the actions of the pair stating: “While acting in connection with the Nike Oregon Project, Mr Salazar and Dr Brown demonstrated that winning was more important than the health and well-being of the athletes they were sworn to protect.”

Salazar has firmly denied the verdict, responding: “Throughout this six-year investigation, my athletes and I have endured unjust, unethical, and highly damaging treatment from USADA.” He added that he has “always ensured the World Anti-Doping Agency code is strictly followed.”

Mo Farah, who stayed with Salazar for nearly seven years while he rose from an outsider to the world’s best, has distanced himself from his former coach. During Farah’s time with Salazar, he won six world titles and four Olympic gold medals. He retired from the running track back in 2017, something he denied had anything to do with the allegations against his coach.

Farah admitted he was “relieved that USADA has, after four years, completed their investigation.”

He continued: “I have no tolerance for anyone who breaks the rules or crosses a line. A ruling has been made and I’m glad there has finally been a conclusion.”

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