London, United Kingdom, Feb 26 – Britain’s four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah on Sunday insisted he was “a clean athlete” after a leaked United States Anti-Doping Agency report suggested that his coach had “almost certainly” broken anti-doping rules.
“I am a clean athlete who has never broken the rules in regards to substances, methods or dosages and it is upsetting that some parts of the media, despite the clear facts, continue to try to associate me with allegations of drug misuse,” Farah said in a statement.
“As I’ve said many times before we all should do everything we can to have a clean sport and it is entirely right that anyone who breaks the rules should be punished.”
The USADA on Saturday confirmed it had compiled a dossier on controversial coach Alberto Salazar following a report accusing the athletics guru of dangerously using drugs to boost the performance of his athletes.
Britain’s Sunday Times said the dossier — obtained by the Fancy Bears hacking group — had found Salazar abused prescription drugs and experimented with infusions of a research supplement based on the amino acid L-carnitine at his Oregon base.
L-carnitine is not a banned substance but infusions of more than 50ml in the space of six hours are prohibited.
The newspaper said it had seen documents showing Salazar gave intravenous drip infusions to Farah and to half a dozen top US runners and that USADA had concluded the treatments of the Americans “almost certainly” broke anti-doping rules.
Farah said it was “unclear as to the Sunday Times’s motivations towards me” and that it was “entirely unfair to make assertions when it is clear from their own statements that I have done nothing wrong.”
“If USADA or any other Anti-Doping Body has evidence of wrongdoing they should publish it and take action rather than allow the media to be judge and jury,” added the athlete, who won both the 5,000m and 10,000m in the London and Rio games.
– Armstrong boast –
USADA said Saturday that no conclusion had been reached.
“USADA can confirm that it has prepared a report in response to a subpoena from a state medical licensing body regarding care given by a physician to athletes associated with the Nike Oregon Project,” USADA said in a statement.
“As we continue to investigate whether anti-doping rules were broken, no further comment will be made at this time.”
L-carnitine is found naturally in the body and is also prescribed as a supplement for heart and muscle disorders.
The Sunday Times reported that Salazar boasted to disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong about the “‘incredible’ performance boosting effects of the substance.”
“Lance call me asap! We have tested it and it’s amazing,” Salazar told the seven-time Tour de France champion, before he was revealed to be a drug cheat, according to the Sunday Times.
The report, written in March 2016, also states that USADA found “substantial and compelling evidence” that Salazar and his team’s doctor, Jeffrey Brown, “conspired to collude together” to use prescription medications and medical procedures in risky and “sometimes potentially unlawful” ways in order to boost athletic performance.
That included persuading Farah to take potentially dangerous doses of permitted vitamin D prescription drugs, the newspaper said.
Salazar told the newspaper that an L-carnitine shot given to Farah prior to his marathon debut at the 2014 London Marathon was administered “exactly the way USADA directed”.
Farah has repeatedly defended himself against his links to drug-tainted figures in the athletics world.
In 2015, Salazar was the subject of a ProPublica and BBC report alleging he administered testosterone to American distance runner Galen Rupp in 2002 when Rupp — a training partner of Farah — was only 16, and encouraged misuse of prescription drugs.