Salazar denies lying to ex-protege Farah

CHICAGO • A defiant Alberto Salazar insisted that he never misled Mo Farah while coaching the Briton to Olympic and world title glory during his seven years at the now dissolved Nike Oregon Project.

The American coach, who plans to appeal against the four-year ban imposed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) for doping violations, was responding to claims made by Farah during a fiery press conference on Friday night to promote the Chicago Marathon.

The four-gold Olympic champion said he had flown back to Eugene, Oregon - where the elite running programme was based - to speak to the Cuba-born American after the BBC Panorama documentary had raised questions over the latter violating anti-doping laws.

"He assured me at the time these are just allegations," Farah said. "And that hasn't been true."

However, Salazar told the New York Times that was not the case.

"I'm sorry Mo feels that way, but I've never lied to anyone about anything related to this investigation," he said in an e-mail. "Before even Usada brought this case, I made public my views regarding the allegations."

Galen Rupp, Farah's former teammate at the Nike Oregon Project, was also repeatedly asked about his relationship with Salazar, who is now banned from coaching the American runner.

"I haven't had any... professional contact, sport-related contact with him since the announcement came out," he said.

That has led some to question whether Rupp might be violating an IAAF ruling against an athlete from working with a banned coach, or be charged with prohibited association and face a two-year ban.

An IAAF spokesman, however, confirmed personal contact was allowed provided it did not stray into coaching.

Meanwhile, Kenyan Brigid Kosgei set the women's world record of 2hr 14min 4sec at the Chicago Marathon yesterday.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 14, 2019, with the headline 'Salazar denies lying to ex-protege Farah'. Print Edition | Subscribe