Alberto Salazar says he will appeal; Farah: “I have no tolerance for anyone who breaks the rules or crosses a line.”
Sir Mo Farah (right), pictured with his former coach Alberto Salazar (centre) and USA’s Galen Rupp during London 2012
Sir Mo Farah’s former coach has been banned from athletics for four years for multiple anti-doping violations, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has said.
American Alberto Salazar, 61, was sanctioned along with endocrinologist Jeffrey Brown for “orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct” while working with the Nike Oregon Project (NOP).
The NOP was home to four-time Olympic champion Farah from 2011 to 2017.
Farah said in a statement that he has “no tolerance for anyone who breaks the rules or crosses a line” after Salazar’s four-year USADA ban.
USADA chief executive Travis T Tygart said: “The athletes in these cases found the courage to speak out and ultimately exposed the truth.
“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.”
Brown was found to have tampered with records, administered an “over-limit” infusion and to have been complicit in Salazar’s trafficking of testosterone.
Farah’s statement read: “I’m relieved that USADA has, after four years, completed their investigation into Alberto Salazar.
“I left the Nike Oregon Project in 2017 but as I’ve always said, 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.”
Salazar moved into coaching after a successful distance running career in which he won the New York Marathon three times, and claimed victory once in the Boston Marathon in the early 1980s.
In a statement released by NOP, Salazar said he was shocked by Monday’s outcome and that he would appeal.
He said that throughout the six-year investigation, he and his athletes “endured unjust, unethical and highly damaging treatment from the USADA”.
Salazar denied Tygart’s assertion that winning was put ahead of athlete safety and insisted he always made sure the WADA code was strictly enforced.
“The Oregon Project has never and will never permit doping,” Salazar’s statement said. “I will appeal and look forward to this unfair and protracted process reaching the conclusion I know to be true.”
Following the USADA ruling, the USA Track and Field federation has decided to withdraw Salazar’s accreditation for the World Athletics Championships, which are currently taking place in Qatar.
A UK Athletics investigation into Salazar in 2015 cleared Farah to continue working with the American.
“The Board of UK Athletics acknowledges the announcement made by USADA concerning the four-year sanction imposed on Alberto Salazar,” a UK Athletics statement said.
“The Board and Performance Oversight Committee (POC) will now review the arbitration decision in full prior to making any further comment.
“It should be noted that at all times UK Athletics fully cooperated with both USADA and UKAD throughout the investigations.
“Furthermore the Performance Oversight Committee’s own investigation in 2015 was restricted to the interaction of the Nike Oregon Project with Mo Farah and not an anti-doping investigation. Such investigations can and should only be undertaken by the relevant anti-doping authorities.”
Credit: Sky Sport