DOUBLE Olympic champion Mo Farah’s American coach Alberto Salazar has hit back at doping allegations, depicting the claims as a baseless smear campaign and declaring: “Let the haters hate.”
In a painstaking and robust defence of his methods, Salazar addressed the multiple claims of sharp practice made against him in a BBC programme by former associates of his Oregon Project training camp.
Farah has not been accused of any wrongdoing, but had been urged to sever ties with Salazar after he was alleged to have helped the Briton’s training partner Galen Rupp to use banned substances.
“I am saddened that these false allegations have been allowed to run with little care for the carnage in their wake,” Salazar wrote in an open letter running to almost 12,000 words.
“Innocent athletes’ careers tarnished with nothing but innuendo, hearsay and rumour. Some have tried to console me by saying public attacks like these are the price of success in today’s world. You win: people will try to tear you down.
“That’s not my world. That’s not the Oregon Project. Here, success is earned with talent, hard work, dedication and fair play – and that’s how it is going to stay. Let the haters hate; we’re going to keep winning through hard work, dedication and fair play.”
Farah spoke out to defend himself last week, despite no doping allegations being made against him, after it emerged he had missed two out-of-competition drug tests in 2010 and 2011. The reigning 5,000 and 10,000m world and Olympic champion insisted he had never taken a performance-enhancing substance and explained the missed tests as “simple mistakes”.
Yet the storm surrounding his Cuba-born coach has threatened to disrupt Farah’s preparations for the defence of his world titles later this summer in Beijing.
Salazar admitted sending prescription medication in a hollowed-out paperback to Rupp in 2011, saying “it probably wasn’t the best way”, but insisted he had told race organisers he was doing so.
He also said that a series of experiments on his sons designed to measure how much testosterone gel could be applied topically without failing a test were undertaken only out of fear his athletes might be sabotaged.