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I just want to race with clean opponents, says GB hero Farah

By Guy Aspin

Mo Farah insists all he wants is to be able to compete against clean athletes as the spectre of doping threatens to overshadow next month's Rio Olympics.

The 33-year-old races for the final time before the defence of his 5,000m and 10,000m crowns in Brazil when he returns to London's Olympic Stadium, the scene of his twin golds four years ago, to compete over the shorter distance at the Muller Anniversary Games today.

Farah joined Usain Bolt in backing the decision to keep Russian track and field athletes out of the Games, with the Court of Arbitration for Sport upholding the suspension imposed by the IAAF because of state-sponsored doping.

"We (in Great Britain) have very tight rules and I just wish other countries applied them," Farah said. "We work so hard and then something happens and it takes away our limelight. Nobody wants to see it, but we have to do what is right. All I want to be able to do is run against clean athletes fairly.

"There's no point having one rule for one country and another for another country."

The drug testing procedures in Kenya, whose athletes are likely to provide Farah's chief opposition in Rio, have also been fiercely criticised. There had been threats, not carried out, to ban its athletes from the Games too.

Farah endured an uncomfortable time last year following doping allegations, denied and unproven, against his coach Alberto Salazar. And the Briton admits he has sympathy for the clean Russian athletes. "I do feel bad for the athletes who haven't done anything," he said.

"Last year you put me through hell and I hadn't done anything."

The father of four, who spends much of the year away from his young family, credits them with keeping him hungry. "They're the ones that keep me motivated," he said. "I really do miss them."

Another double in Rio, which would be the fourth in a row at global championships, would make the sacrifice worthwhile.

Belfast Telegraph

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