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Hassan wins 1,500m heat after Salazar furore

The Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan eases to victory in her 1,500m heat, a day after coach Alberto Salazar was hit with a doping ban © AFP / KARIM JAAFAR

DOHA, Qatar, Oct 2 – Sifan Hassan breezed into the semi-finals of the 1,500m at the World Championships on Wednesday, just a day after her coach Alberto Salazar was hit with a doping ban.

The Ethiopian-born Dutch runner, who has already won a gold medal in the 10,000m in Doha, won her heat comfortably in a time of 4min 03.88sec ahead of Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon.

Hassan, who on Tuesday said she was “shocked” by the suspension of Salazar, did not speak to reporters after her race.

Another member of Salazar’s Nike-backed Oregon Project, Australia’s Jessica Hull, also made it through to the 1,500m semi-finals after finishing fifth in her heat.

Meanwhile, Jenny Simpson of the United States, who won the third 1,500m heat in a time of 4:07.27, said she was glad Salazar had been kicked out of the sport.

Asked for her reaction to Salazar’s four-year suspension, Simpson replied: “Get him out, that’s my reaction. If you cheat, you get banned.

“I’m a believer in lifetime bans. I wish it was longer. Don’t cheat.”

The 33-year-old 2016 Olympics bronze medallist meanwhile said there had long been suspicions over the Oregon Project.

“I mean anybody who knows anything about this sport knows there’s a black shadow, a black cloud over that group,” she said. “So why anyone chooses to be part of it I have no idea.”

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Elsewhere on Wednesday, another Oregon Project distance runner, Germany’s 5,000m medal hope Konstanze Klosterhalfen, said she was stunned by Salazar’s ban.

“I was very shocked, I knew the team how great they are and how great they run,” said Klosterhalfen, who joined the group in November 2018.

“I just want to focus on my races,” added the German, who is coached by Pete Julian.

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