Mo Farah: Olympic champion says new questions over Alberto Salazar are ‘not fair’

Mo Farah says fresh questions raised in a BBC Panorama investigation over his relationship with his banned former coach Alberto Salazar are “depressing”.

The four-time Olympic champion, who left the Nike Oregon Project headed by Salazar in 2017, has never failed a drugs test or been accused of doping.

Further allegations of unethical practices at the US training base were revealed in the programme last week.

“I can sleep at night knowing I’ve done nothing wrong,” Farah told the Mirror.

Salazar was first accused of breaking anti-doping rules at the Oregon base by Panorama in 2015 and the American coach was was banned from the sport for four years in 2019.

Salazar rejects the findings of the US Anti-Doping Agency investigation and is appealing against the ban.

Farah was coached by Salazar at the Nike Oregon Project from 2011 to 2017.

The Briton, who declined to be interviewed by BBC Panorama, told the newspaper he was “human and makes mistakes”.

“It’s not fair on my kids and my family. It’s just not right. It’s depressing. Mentally and physically it’s had an effect on me,” he added.

“It has made me question if I’m a bad person. Is it against me? Is it because of my colour? It makes you question everything and that’s annoying and damaging.

“I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, but I’ve always done the right thing.”

  • Farah ‘happy’ for samples to be retested
  • Concerns over Salazar dated back to 2011

The latest allegations

On Friday, it was revealed UK Athletics (UKA) officials had concerns about Salazar’s use of medications with Farah as early as July 2011.

Emails obtained by Panorama suggested UK athletes based in the US were asking UKA doctors about thyroid medication for “performance gains” because “the Americans” were taking it.

Farah, who won gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics, has always denied using thyroid medication.

These emails came days after the Panorama programme revealed the 36-year-old had repeatedly denied to a US Anti-Doping investigator having injections of the legal supplement L-carnitine, despite having done so. He later changed his account, saying he forgot.

Farah previously told BBC Sport he would have been “the first one out” had he known his former coach was facing a ban for doping offences.

Farah confirmed in November that he will return to track competition in 2020 to defend his Olympic 10,000m title at the Tokyo Games.

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