LONDON — Mo Farah’s medical data will be analyzed in an independent investigation ordered by the governing body of British athletics, in light of the doping claims against the double Olympic champion’s American coach.
Ed Warner, chairman of UK Athletics, said Monday the investigation will look at “blood data, supplements data — everything surrounding his medical treatment.”
“We need to make sure there’s nothing else there we haven’t seen, we’re not aware of,” Warner told BBC radio.
In a story by American investigative journalism group ProPublica and British broadcaster the BBC, published last week, long-distance running coach Alberto Salazar was accused of using doping practices for his athletes at the Nike Oregon Project.
Farah, the world and Olympic 5,000 and 10,000-meter champion, is Salazar’s star athlete. Although there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by Farah, he is concerned about the damage to his reputation and withdrew from the Diamond League event in Birmingham on Sunday so he could return to the United States and “seek answers to my questions.”
Salazar has denied any wrongdoing.
“It may well be that the outcome of our own investigation says there’s nothing untoward going on as far as we can uncover in any way, shape or form around British athletics and a British athlete,” Warner said.
“One of the possible outcomes of all of this is, even though — and I’m sure that’s probably going to be the case — there’s nothing untoward proven around Mo Farah and British Athletics, we might still recommend to Mo and might still decide ourselves to suspend our relationship (with Salazar) because of the reputational damage that could be caused. It’s going to take time, but not a lot of time, I hope. I would think weeks, not months.”
Salazar is an endurance consultant to UK Athletics.
Salazar was accused by his former assistant, Steve Magness, of violating anti-doping rules and encouraging doping by one of his top runners, Galen Rupp. Rupp won the silver medal in the 10,000 metres at the London Olympics in 2012, finishing behind Farah. Rupp also denies any wrongdoing.
Farah has said he will not break ties with Salazar as there is no clear evidence against the American.
“If I was a close mate of Mo’s and he was asking me personally — not as the chairman of (UK) Athletics — ‘What do you think I should do?’ I might have been inclined to say, ‘Do you know what? The easiest thing for you to do right now is to suspend that relationship, take a breather, see how it all plays out, run the circuit in the summer in Europe, on to the world championship in Beijing, and see what transpires,'” Warner said.
“It’s a very fine decision. There are loyalty issues — nothing has been proven against Alberto Salazar.”
This story has been corrected in the extended headline to change the surname to Farah, instead of Fara.
The Associated Press