(Reuters) – Mo Farah should be respected for winning two golds at the Rio Olympics despite his coach Alberto Salazar being under investigation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), IAAF President Sebastian Coe said.
American Salazar, who has worked with Farah since 2011, was accused of violating anti-doping rules in a BBC documentary last year, including allegations he had given 2012 Olympic 10,000m silver medalist Galen Rupp the banned anabolic steroid testosterone.
Farah became the only the second man to retain the 5,000m and 10,000m Olympic titles at Rio last month but his association with Salazar led to a taint of suspicion.
“There are some systems where you can’t have that presumption of innocence any more, but Mo — and I am not here as his spokesman or his defender — has made all his readings public,” Coe, who won 1500 m golds at the 1980 and 1984 Olympics, was quoted as saying by the Times newspaper.
“He is subjected to all the tests that anyone is subjected to, and if he has had issues with his coach then you have to assume he has asked some pretty tough questions which have been answered satisfactorily to his way of thinking.”
Salazar issued a lengthy and detailed denial of the allegations last year. USADA has been investigating him but is yet to release a finding.
Farah has been exonerated by UK Athletics who found no impropriety on his part after receiving the initial findings of a review into his relationship with Salazar.
He also agreed to release blood test results going back to 2005 – against the advice of governing body the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
(Reporting by Ian Rodricks in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)