BIRMINGHAM, England — Double Olympic champion Mo Farah said Saturday he will not be ending his relationship with coach Alberto Salazar, despite his concerns that doping allegations against the American are damaging his own reputation.
Salazar has been accused by his former assistant of using doping practices for his athletes at the Nike Oregon Project, in investigations by ProPublica and the BBC.
Farah, the world and Olympic 5,000 and 10,000-metre champion from Britain, is Salazar’s star athlete and believes that his name is being tainted by the claims.
“I’m really angry at this situation,” Farah said. “It’s not fair, it’s not right. I haven’t done anything but my name is being dragged through the mud.
“It’s something that’s not in my control. I want to know answers.”
Cam Levins of Black Creek, B.C., the Canadian record-holder in the 10,000 metres, also trains with the Nike Oregon Project.
Farah said he spoke to Salazar on Friday.
“I said to him, ‘Alberto, what’s going on? I want some answers,'” the 32-year-old Farah said. “He said, ‘Mo, I can prove this to you, these are just allegations. I can show you some evidence.'”
Farah said he won’t be breaking his ties with Salazar because he has not seen any “clear evidence,” but would the “first person to leave him” if the allegations are proven.
Salazar, who has denied any wrongdoing, is an endurance consultant for UK Athletics.
“UK Athletics has carefully considered the content,” the organization said. “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.”
In the story by ProPublica and the BBC, Salazar was accused by his former assistant, Steve Magness, of violating anti-doping rules and encouraging doping by one of his top runners, Galen Rupp. Rupp won the silver medal in the 10,000 metres at the London Olympics in 2012, finishing behind Farah. Rupp also denies any wrongdoing.
The story said U.S. Olympic distance runner Kara Goucher and at least six other former Salazar athletes and staff members have gone to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency with their concerns. It said USADA has not confirmed or denied any investigations.
The story said no doping accusations have been made against Farah.
“My reputation is getting ruined. You guys are killing me,” Farah said at a news conference before the Diamond League event in Birmingham. “There are kids out there who look up to me, to know how hard I work, what I put my body through day in day out.
“I don’t know how to explain it. If you guys have something on me, bring it. I’m happy to share anything you want to know. But it’s not about me, it’s about Alberto.”
Salazar is considered America’s most powerful running coach. He built his reputation as a coach after winning the New York Marathon three years in a row from 1980-82 and the Boston Marathon in 1982.
The Associated Press