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Farah doctor to brief UK lawmakers in drugs probe

Britain’s Mo Farah celebrates winning the Men’s 10,000m during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The Somalian-born athlete has criticised Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown © AFP/File / Damien MEYER

LONDON, United Kingdom, Apr 18The doctor who gave athletics great Mo Farah a controversial supplement is to appear before British lawmakers on Wednesday as part of an ongoing inquiry into doping in sport.

Dr Robin Chakraverty, formerly of UK Athletics, is to give evidence to the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport (CMS) committee that has previously unearthed damaging details about the approach to drug rules of senior figures in British Cycling.

Chakraverty, now working with the England football team, gave Farah an intravenous infusion of L-carnitine before the distance runner’s 2014 London Marathon debut.

L-carnitine is a naturally occurring compound which turns body fat into energy and can be found in animal products such as meat, fish and milk.

Athletes are allowed to take it provided it is not infused in a quantity greater than 50 millilitres every six hours.

That British distance-runner Farah used the supplement was made public after a report from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) was leaked.

There have also been reports that USADA was unable to determine how much Farah had received because UK Athletics had not recorded the amount correctly.

Four-time Olympic champion Farah, who trains in the United States with his Portland-based coach Alberto Salazar, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

So too has Salazar, who two years ago was the subject of a BBC report alleging he administered testosterone to American distance runner Galen Rupp in 2002 when Rupp — a training partner of Farah at the Nike Orgeon Project — was only 16.

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The BBC report also alleged Salazar encouraged the misuse of prescription drugs, something the coach has vehemently denied.

CMS committee chairman Damian Collins MP said Tuesday: “In this hearing the committee wants to look at how the anti-doping rules and the protocols around athletes’ use of medication is policed by people working within sport.

“As with our investigation into cycling, we are interested as well in the responsibilities of the governing bodies to ensure that the rules are being followed correctly.”

It was at a CMS hearing in March that United Kingdom Anti-Doping chief Nicole Sapstead said it was impossible for her to be certain about the contents of a package delivered to the Team Sky outfit of Britain’s five-time Olympic cycling champion Bradley Wiggins at the end of the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine race in France because the then Sky doctor had told her the relevant records had disappeared when his laptop was stolen while on holiday in Greece in 2014.

Team Sky, Wiggins and Dr Richard Freeman, the team’s then medic, have all repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

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