Belfast Telegraph

Mo Farah quizzed over doping allegations surrounding his coach

By Guy Aspin

Mo Farah has been questioned by a United States Anti-Doping Agency investigator over the doping allegations surrounding his coach Alberto Salazar.

The double Olympic champion was questioned by American lawyer Bill Bock, the man who helped bring down Lance Armstrong, for five hours at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel.

It is understood the meeting was routine and had been scheduled for some time.

The 32-year-old, one of a number of people the anti-doping authorities are talking to, has already said he is happy to co-operate with any investigation.

Farah has not been accused of any wrongdoing, but has been caught up in the doping storm which has engulfed Salazar, the head coach at the Nike Oregon Project in Portland, who has vehemently denied breaking anti-doping rules.

Farah’s questioning by USADA came the day after he was cheered to the rafters on his return to the Olympic Stadium, winning over 3,000 metres at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, his first race in Great Britain since the doping scandal broke.

The Briton, who is sticking by his under-fire coach but has vowed to leave him should any accusations be proven, said after the meeting: “It went alright... It’s all good. And I’m good, good, good.”

Farah  paid tribute to the raucous support he received from the Olympic Stadium crowd on Friday night, the episode clearly having not lowered his standing in the eyes of his adoring public.

He said after that race: “It was amazing to get the support I got, it was incredible, it just reminded me of 2012.”

Farah also received the backing of good friend Usain Bolt in the week, the Jamaican sprinter saying: “I’ve come through the ranks with Mo, so I’ve seen the work that he’s put in. For me I’m sorry for Mo, because every day I hear in the papers they’re trying to tear him down.”

Farah will now head to his Pyrenean training base of Font Romeu to prepare for the defence of his world 5,000m and 10,000m titles in Beijing next month.

Meanwhile Dina Asher-Smith just wants to go “faster, faster, faster” after becoming the first British woman to break the 100 metres 11-second barrier.

Three years on from carrying boxes of kit into the Olympic Stadium, the 19-year-old had the sell-out crowd in the palm of her hands at this weekend’s Anniversary Games.

Asher-Smith returned to the home of London 2012 as the fastest British woman ever, having broken Montell Douglas’ seven-year-old 100m record with a time of 11.02 seconds in May.

That naturally led expectation to rise and the teenager did not disappoint, winning her heat in 10.99 seconds — breaking the national record once more to the audible delight of the 50,000-plus crowd.

“To run 10.99, the first British woman under 11 seconds — I am absolutely over the moon,” Asher-Smith said with a wide grin.

“It was more than I could have asked for, to not only run the time but here at the Olympic Stadium in front of a home crowd with my family and friends in the audience. It was absolutely just amazing. I do feel like my PB in the heat was 50% due to the crowd, simply because they really, really made me smile and made my adrenaline run.”

It was certainly a day to remember for Asher-Smith and one which will only boost her confidence heading into next month’s World Championships.

The 19-year-old was unable to match her record-breaking feat in the final on Saturday, but was pleased to finish fourth with 11.06 in a strong field.

“I’ve got to make myself stronger and make sure the end of my races are maintained, that I am consistent with my times, but I am happy,” Asher-Smith said.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


From Belfast Telegraph