Farah missed drug tests: Report

LONDON: Britain’s double Olympic champion Mo Farah missed two drug tests in the run-up to the 2012 London Games, the Daily Mail reported on Thursday.

The Mail’s story comes at an awkward time for the 32-year-old Farah following recent doping allegations against his coach, Alberto Salazar. Farah backed out of a meeting in Birmingham earlier this month in the wake of accusations made against Salazar and Galen Rupp, Farah’s American training partner. The two men have denied the claims, while Farah has not been accused of doing anything illegal.

However, the Mail said the London Olympics 5,000 and 10,000 metres champion Farah had put his participation at the 2012 Games in jeopardy by missing two tests around the time he started training under Salazar in February 2011. UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) rules state an athlete who misses three tests in any 12-month period (reduced from 18 months since 2013) can face a ban of up to four years. Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu was suspended for 12 months in 2006 after missing three tests and falling foul of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s “whereabouts” system, which forces athletes to select an exact location for one hour every day in case they are needed for testing.

According to the Mail, Farah’s first missed test appears to have occurred in early 2010, several months before he joined up with Salazar. It was also six months before he broke David Moorcroft’s 28-year-old British 5,000m record and became the first Briton to complete the distance in under 13-minutes. But the second missed test appears to have been scheduled once Farah had started working with Salazar. It should have taken place at Farah’s home in Teddington, London, but the athlete appealed to UKAD, claiming that he did not hear his doorbell.

The Mail, citing correspondence it had seen between lawyers, Farah and Salazar, made clear the Somali-born athlete’s concerns about a suspension. The British newspaper added that Salazar had warned Farah on May 11 of that year: “If you miss another test, they will hang you.”