LONDON (Reuters) – British anti-doping authorities condemned the leaking of information “which only serves to fuel rumor and innuendo” on Saturday after the latest media report surrounding athlete Mo Farah and his American coach Alberto Salazar.
“UKAD continues to strongly condemn the leaking of information which only serves to fuel rumor and innuendo and has the potential to undermine the principle of confidentiality which is crucial to robust and thorough anti-doping investigations,” UK Anti-Doping said in a statement.
UKAD was responding to a report in the Daily Mail which said that American anti-doping authorities have asked their British counterparts to release Farah’s drug-test samples so they can be retested for blood-boosting substances.
UK Anti-Doping did not confirm whether this was true or not but said “national anti-doping organizations can quite legitimately disagree” over issues surrounding testing and analysis and pointed out the problems associated with retesting.
“All British elite athletes who are part of UKAD’s whereabouts, testing and/or reanalysis program will be under the jurisdiction of UKAD even if they are overseas training or competing,” it said.
“Their samples will be tested and potentially reanalyzed by UKAD based on intelligence received and improvements in detection methods. Each time a sample is reanalyzed or sent to another location, the amount contained within a sample can be reduced or has the potential to degrade which limits the possibility to test again in the future.
“Decisions as to testing and analysis therefore require careful consideration, and national anti-doping organizations can quite legitimately disagree in this regard,” the statement added.
“We do not comment on our testing strategy or ongoing investigations, as has been made clear in recent investigations. Status is no barrier to thorough testing or potential investigations. UKAD treats all athletes in the same way.”
UKAD is conducting a joint investigation with USADA into allegations, first aired in a 2015 TV documentary, that Salazar breached anti-doping rules.
Last week, British newspaper the Sunday Times said it had obtained what it described as a leaked 2016 USADA report alleging that Salazar broke doping rules to boost the performance of his athletes.
The Unites States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) was not immediately available for comment.
Salazar and Farah, the double Olympic 5,000 and 10,000 meters champion, deny any wrongdoing in terms of doping.
(Reporting by Neil Robinson, editing by Ed Osmond)