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Coach Alberto Salazar insists Mo Farah, right, gets his supplements from UK Athletics. Anja Niedringhaus / AP Photo
Coach Alberto Salazar insists Mo Farah, right, gets his supplements from UK Athletics. Anja Niedringhaus / AP Photo

Mo Farah coach denies allegations of taking performance-enhancers

Alberto Salazar asks opponents to stop making excuses about why they lose against British runner after charges appear on websites and chat forums.

Alberto Salazar, Mo Farah's coach, has staunchly defended his athlete against doping accusations which he views as opponents making excuses.

Farah won the 5,000 and 10,000 metres titles at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow to repeat the momentous double he achieved at last summer's London Olympics, and last month broke the European 1,500m record at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco with three minutes, 28.81 seconds.

That run in particular sparked insinuations on website forums that Farah could be using performance-enhancing drugs, but Salazar emphatically dismissed such suggestions.

"It bothers me when people question my integrity," the American said. "But the way I look at it, if you don't want people to say things about you, go run real crappy and then nobody will talk about you.

"At this level, we know we're clean. We know we're never going to test positive for anything. No way in the world. I have a clear conscience.

"Everyone is so into this drug mania. Everybody believes that if anybody runs well they have to be on drugs. That's their excuse for why they don't run well.

"They're saying: 'They've got to be cheating'. But that's why a lot of Americans and a lot of Brits are running crappy, because that's their excuse. They should be saying: 'You know what, it's do-able because Mo Farah did it. If I train this hard and do this, then I can do it'.

"When we see all this stuff we just think 'good'. It just means there are fewer people for us to worry about because they're all using this as an excuse."

Salazar revealed even Farah's use of legitimate supplements is strictly limited for fear of contamination with banned substances, saying: "We don't take that much stuff and everything that Mo takes is from UK Athletics.

"None of our athletes are on any sports-specific supplement other than beta alanine, which is an amino acid. Other than that, it's iron, vitamin D and that's it. You don't really need anything else."

Having worked with Farah since 2011, Salazar a three-time New York Marathon winner puts his protege's improvement down to a dramatic shift in the intensity of his training methods.

"When you look at it from the outside it's hard to see it but for me, being in there, it's not hard to see it because I see how fast he was before he joined our programme and the sort of work he used to do compared to what we do now year-round," he said.

"He hardly did any stuff and he was still fast, so is it surprising that when we do this stuff, he is where he is? Some of the speed work we do is just phenomenal. I've seen him do workouts when he'll be pushing himself so hard that he literally has to crawl off the track."

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