Alberto Salazar storm will not faze Mo Farah, says UK Athletics head

Farah has been caught in the middle of the doping allegations levelled at Salazar and Galen Rupp

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The Independent Online

The controversy surrounding Mo Farah’s training group will not remove his mantle as the world’s No 1 distance runner, according to the chairman of UK Athletics, despite the accusations mounting against Farah’s coach, Alberto Salazar.

Farah has been caught in the middle of the doping allegations levelled at Salazar and Galen Rupp, even though no accusations have been made against the Briton himself. Rupp denies the allegations against him, and Salazar those against him.

Former distance runner Josh Rohatinsky was the latest  former member of the Salazar camp to raise questions about the coach, saying that he “absolutely believed the full extent of the evidence brought forth” in the investigation by the BBC’s Panorama programme.

Meanwhile, the UKA chairman, Ed Warner, allayed any worries about Farah’s frame of mind going into the rest of the season. “I don’t have fears at all,” Warner told the BBC. “All things considered, I think he’s in a good frame of mind in difficult circumstances, and I’m sure he is looking forward to the rest of the season with some enthusiasm. I think he will be out there giving his best and rewarding those who have got faith in him, which we absolutely have.”

No timeframe has been put on Farah’s competitive return to the track. He is next officially scheduled to race at the Anniversary Games in London at the end of July but Warner said he expected to see the double Olympic, world and European champion “on the Diamond League circuit in the next few weeks”.

Farah has been in frequent contact with UKA’s performance director, Neil Black, but Warner refused to be drawn on whether the athlete had held talks with Salazar about the wide-ranging allegations made against the American.

It is thought that 17 different sources have now come forward to make allegations against Salazar, who barring a brief statement last week, has continued to maintain his silence ahead of what is expected to be a lengthy rebuttal.

Rohatinsky trained under Salazar for two years from July 2007 and in a lengthy Facebook post added his queries to the approach of both Salazar and Rupp.

“I absolutely believe the full extent of the evidence brought forth in the report/documentary by all the witnesses – the Gouchers [athletes Adam and Kara], John Stiner [a former massage therapist who worked with Salazar] and Steve Magness [Salazar’s ex-No 2].

“I know the Gouchers personally and thank them for their work on this. I also was with the team and John Stiner at the altitude camp he spoke about in Park City, and believe his report as well.

“I firmly believe any and all PED [performance-enhancing drugs] activity within the NOP [Nike Oregon Project] while I was there was limited to Galen Rupp. The entire time I was with the group there was always a wall of separation between Alberto/Galen and the rest of the group.”