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UK Athletics launches independent review into dealings with Alberto Salazar

Mo Farah’s former coach was banned from athletics for four years in October.

Alberto Salazar (file photo).
Alberto Salazar (file photo).
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

UK ATHLETICS HAS commissioned an independent review into its dealings with disgraced coach Alberto Salazar and his Nike Oregon Project.

The American, who worked with British distance runner Mo Farah from 2011 to 2017, was banned for four years by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in October for doping violations but has announced he will challenge the sanction at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Nike said last month it was closing down the Oregon Project, which produced a host of world and Olympic gold medals.

Farah, who won gold in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, has never failed a drugs test and has always strenuously denied breaking any anti-doping regulations.

The independent review, led by sports law barrister John Mehrzad, is expected to publish its findings next year on a range of specific questions relating to UK Athletics’ (UKA’s) response to allegations against Salazar in 2015 and 2017.

UKA chairman Chris Clark said: “Our staff, athletes and coaches show immense dedication to this sport and are proud to be associated with British athletics. We need to ensure we have a clear way forward that gives us confidence in the integrity of our coaching efforts.

“If there are lessons to be learnt, we plan to implement any recommendations into a future-focused, transparent and accountable way of working.”

UKA has endured a turbulent few months, with performance director Neil Black leaving his role in October after Salazar’s ban. Black had previously described the American as a genius.

- © AFP 2019

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