Coaching split due to move, says Farah

Mo Farah doing his trademark 'Mobot' pose after winning the Great North Run in September. He will be focusing on the marathon, having retired from the track.
Mo Farah doing his trademark 'Mobot' pose after winning the Great North Run in September. He will be focusing on the marathon, having retired from the track.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Britain's Olympic and world champion Mo Farah has parted ways with his controversial coach Alberto Salazar, but denied the split was because of a US anti-doping investigation into the Nike Oregon Project leader.

The four-time Olympic gold medallist will relocate to London with his wife Tania and their four children, and will train under the guidance of Gary Lough, husband and coach of Paula Radcliffe.

"I'm not leaving the Nike Oregon Project and Alberto Salazar because of the doping allegations," he told the Sun. "This situation has been going on for over two years. If I was going to leave because of that, I would have done.

"As I've always said, I'm a firm believer in clean sport and I strongly believe that anyone who breaks the rules should be punished. If Alberto had crossed the line, I would be out the door but Usada (United States Anti-Doping Agency) has not charged him with anything.

"If I had ever had any reason to doubt Alberto, I would not have stood by him all this time."

He retired from the track after winning the 10,000m gold and 5,000m silver medals at August's London World Championships and will focus on the marathon.

All of the 34-year-old's major championship successes have been achieved since he moved to the US to work with American Salazar in 2011, but a BBC documentary, which aired in 2015, called the Cuban-born coach's methods into serious question.

An investigation was launched after several former Nike Oregon Project athletes and coaches alleged he had flouted anti-doping rules including giving Farah's training partner, Galen Rupp, testosterone when he was 16.

Salazar has always vehemently denied the allegations and Farah has been a staunch supporter.

"I'm leaving simply because my family and I are moving back to London," said Farah.

"Gary successfully coached Paula Radcliffe - Britain's greatest marathon runner - and he has an in-depth understanding of what is needed to achieve real results at marathon distance."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2017, with the headline 'Coaching split due to move, says Farah'. Print Edition | Subscribe