Derek Redmond backs Mo Farah as doping controversy continues

Sport360 staff 12:05 20/06/2015
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  • Still supported: Mo Farah.

    Former Great Britain runner Derek Redmond has supported Mo Farah as doping allegations surround his coach Alberto Salazar.

    Salazar has denied the allegations made in a BBC documentary, which focused on Farah’s training partner Galen Rupp.

    Farah has not been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs and strenuously denied ever having done so after it emerged he had missed two doping tests in the lead-up to the 2012 London Olympics – where he won 5,000 and 10,000 metres gold.

    Redmond, world 4x400m champion in 1991 but best remembered for his hamstring injury in the following year’s Olympics, sympathises with Farah.

    “I really feel for Mo at the moment, it’s a horrible situation. It must be extremely tough,” he told Champions Celebrity. “Even though nobody’s pointing the finger directly at Mo, it’s so easy to be tainted by association.

    “This guy’s an icon of athletics, one of our own all-time greats, and he’s had an unimpeachable record up to this point – but even if this is as far as it goes, it’ll always be with him. Some people will always have the question in mind.

    “If they prove you guilty, you’re bang to rights and that’s fair enough, but proving yourself innocent is nigh on impossible. Mud sticks regardless of the truth and often that’s not at all fair for those play by the rules – and I believe Mo is one of them.”

    Farah spoke with Salazar after the allegations emerged and is standing by him as the coach aims to clear his name. 

    And in a statement issued via Facebook on Friday, the 32-year-old wrote: “I have never taken performance-enhancing drugs in my life and I never will.

    “Over the course of my career I have taken hundreds of drugs tests and every single one has been negative. I’ve fully explained the only two tests in my career that I have ever missed, which the authorities understood, and there was never any suggestion that these were anything more than simple mistakes.

    “The last two weeks have been the toughest of my life – with rumours and speculation about me that are completely false – and the impact this has had on my family and friends has left me angry, frustrated and upset.”

    Redmond backed Farah’s support for Salazar.

    He said: “Athletes need stability and a big part of that comes from the coaching side. He’s a year out from the Olympics and to throw your coach under the bus on a whim, hoping to distance yourself from him simply because he’s at the centre of a media storm, is an unnecessary risk.

    “Mo’s said that, if anything is proven against Salazar, he’ll be the first to walk out, but we have to remember this guy’s helped him to unprecedented success.

    “If the shoe was on the other foot, you’d expect a coach to stand by his athlete until allegations were proven, so, to my mind, Mo’s doing the right thing by sticking with his man.