Farah in a race against time to clear his reputation

London - It is 18 days since the storm engulfed Mo Farah and there is little sign of it diminishing, despite a statement on Friday in which, once again, he vehemently denied taking performance-enhancing drugs.

The British runner hoped that his words posted on Facebook, crafted by a leading PR firm, would ease some of the frenzy. But, truth is, only Alberto Salazar can do that - and the American coach has still to deliver on his promise of a comprehensive rebuttal of doping allegations.

According to sources close to Farah, the multiple world and Olympic champion, Salazar has said that he will provide evidence of his innocence "in days" but every hour of silence is another bad one for the British runner.

In his statement on Friday, Farah talked of his anger and frustration at being dragged into a doping scandal, and "rumours and speculation that are completely false".

But with Salazar keeping everyone waiting, Farah should be directing some of his rage at his coach.

Whenever the riposte comes, Salazar will have to provide an awful lot of detail if he is even going to start to quash all the myriad accusations and allegations that range from misuse of prescription drugs and talk of intravenous drips to suggestions of bags of vials to use a banned testosterone gel.

Salazar denies any wrongdoing but has a lot to explain and, given the witness statements made against him on the record, whatever he says is more than likely to lead to further claim and counter-claim.

UK Athletics has undertaken an inquiry into its relationship with Salazar, who is an unpaid consultant. But this saga is certain to get a whole lot uglier first.

No allegations of cheating have been made against Farah but, with his conduct called into question by the revelation this week that he missed two drug tests in the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, he turned to Freuds this week for help with crisis management.

The strategic marketing and communications consultancy's blurb promises "a positive change in the reputation of our clients" and, in Farah's case, there is now much work to do.

The Times, London

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 21, 2015, with the headline 'Farah in a race against time to clear his reputation'. Print Edition | Subscribe