Farah withdraws from Birmingham

Published: Sunday 7th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Mo Farah has withdrawn from today’s Birmingham Grand Prix citing emotional exhaustion after a week of drug allegations against his coach Alberto Salazar.

Farah had been due to race in the 1,500m at Alexander Stadium but says he will instead fly back to the US to “seek answers” from Salazar.

Farah said in a statement: ” This week has been very stressful and taken a lot out of me.

“I have not been able to focus properly on today’s race and after the events of the last few days feel emotionally and physically drained.

“I want to run well in the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Beijing and have decided it is better for me to go back to the US, seek answers to my questions and get back into training.

“I apologise to the people who bought tickets to come and watch me race and ask for your understanding at this time.”

Farah launched an impassioned defence of his relationship with Salazar at a pre-event press conference in Birmingham on Saturday.

The 32-year-old refused to bow to pressure to end his relationship with Salazar and expressed his anger at being implicated in the allegations.

Farah said: “I’m not leaving Alberto, for the reason I’ve not seen any clear evidence.

“I spoke to Alberto (on Friday night), I got on the phone and said to him, ‘Alberto, what’s going on?’ and he said, ‘Mo, I can prove this to you – it’s just allegations – I’ll show you some evidence’, and I said, ‘Okay’.

“I’m really angry at this situation. It’s not fair, it’s not right. I haven’t done anything but my name’s getting dragged through the mud.”

A BBC Panorama programme on Wednesday night alleged that Salazar was involved in doping his athlete Galen Rupp, silver medallist at the 2012 London Olympics behind Farah in the 10,000 metres, when the American was only 16 years of age.

Salazar, who won the New York marathon three years in a row between 1980 and 1982 and was also a Boston marathon winner, has worked with Farah since 2011 and has coached the Briton’s training partner Rupp for 14 years.

Neither Salazar nor Rupp appeared in the BBC programme, but both men protested their innocence in statements.

There is no suggestion that Farah has broken any rules, and the Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m champion has stressed he had nothing to hide.

Published: Sunday 7th June 2015 by The News Editor

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