Double distance champ Farah dismisses Aden link

Britain's Mo Farah celebrating as he crossed the finish line to retain the 5,000m gold he won in London four years ago.
Britain's Mo Farah celebrating as he crossed the finish line to retain the 5,000m gold he won in London four years ago.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

RIO DE JANEIRO • Britain's Mo Farah sought to distance himself from drug-tainted Somali coach Jama Aden following his 5,000m victory.

The 33-year-old, who became the first man in 40 years - since Finnish great Lasse Viren in 1976 - to retain the two Olympic distance crowns after also winning the 10,000m gold last week, denied being on close terms with Aden.

"He's not a close friend of mine," said Farah, who took gold in 13min 3.30sec. "I see him on the circuit and say, 'Hi'. I respect everyone on the circuit. We all know each other."

Kenyan-born American Paul Chelimo settled for the silver with a personal best of 13:03.90 as Ethiopian Hagos Gebrhiwet took the bronze in 13:04.35.

Aden had worked as an "unofficial facilitator" for Farah before he was arrested by Spanish police on dope charges earlier this year.

British athletics officials have insisted his role extended only to calling out Farah's lap times when the runner trained in Ethiopia last year.

But on Saturday, Farah faced questions about photographs of him with Aden in February at another training camp in Ethiopia.

"As an athlete on the circuit, if somebody asks you to take a picture, are you going to say no? So many people come up to me," said the Somali-born Briton.

"I've been competing since I was 12 years old and you can't lie about it. You see people, you see coaches and that's all it is. I don't know why you're making a big deal about it."

Aden, who trains women's 1,500m world record holder Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba, was arrested after dawn raids of several houses in Catalonia occupied by his training group in June.

Anabolic steroids and syringes were found, according to reports quoting the Catalan interior minister, while a Moroccan physiotherapist was also arrested and charged.

Farah's victory and the women's 4x400m relay team's bronze took Britain to 66 medals, one more than their record haul at London 2012.

Britain also made history by becoming the first nation to follow success as a host with more medals at the next Games on foreign soil.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2016, with the headline 'Double distance champ Farah dismisses Aden link'. Print Edition | Subscribe