Sir Mo Farah's former coach Alberto Salazar banned over anti-doping violations
Alberto Salazar says he will appeal; Farah: "I have no tolerance for anyone who breaks the rules or crosses a line."
Last Updated: 02/10/19 4:21pm
Sir Mo Farah's former coach has been banned from athletics for four years for multiple anti-doping violations, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has said.
American Alberto Salazar, 61, was sanctioned along with endocrinologist Jeffrey Brown for "orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct" while working with the Nike Oregon Project (NOP).
Salazar's violations included "administration of a prohibited method", tampering or attempted tampering with athletes' doping control processes and trafficking or attempted trafficking of testosterone.
The NOP was home to four-time Olympic champion Farah from 2011 to 2017.
Farah said in a statement that he has "no tolerance for anyone who breaks the rules or crosses a line" after Salazar's four-year USADA ban.
USADA chief executive Travis T Tygart said: "The athletes in these cases found the courage to speak out and ultimately exposed the truth.
"While acting in connection with the Nike Oregon Project, Mr Salazar and Dr Brown demonstrated that winning was more important than the health and well-being of the athletes they were sworn to protect."
Brown was found to have tampered with records, administered an "over-limit" infusion and to have been complicit in Salazar's trafficking of testosterone.
Farah's statement read: "I'm relieved that USADA has, after four years, completed their investigation into Alberto Salazar.
"I left the Nike Oregon Project in 2017 but as I've always said, I have no tolerance for anyone who breaks the rules or crosses a line.
"A ruling has been made and I'm glad there has finally been a conclusion."
Salazar moved into coaching after a successful distance running career in which he won the New York Marathon three times, and claimed victory once in the Boston Marathon in the early 1980s.
In a statement released by NOP, Salazar said he was shocked by Monday's outcome and that he would appeal.
He said that throughout the six-year investigation, he and his athletes "endured unjust, unethical and highly damaging treatment from the USADA".
Salazar denied Tygart's assertion that winning was put ahead of athlete safety and insisted he always made sure the WADA code was strictly enforced.
"The Oregon Project has never and will never permit doping," Salazar's statement said. "I will appeal and look forward to this unfair and protracted process reaching the conclusion I know to be true."
Following the USADA ruling, the USA Track and Field federation has decided to withdraw Salazar's accreditation for the World Athletics Championships, which are currently taking place in Qatar.
A UK Athletics investigation into Salazar in 2015 cleared Farah to continue working with the American.
"The Board of UK Athletics acknowledges the announcement made by USADA concerning the four-year sanction imposed on Alberto Salazar," a UK Athletics statement said.
"The Board and Performance Oversight Committee (POC) will now review the arbitration decision in full prior to making any further comment.
"It should be noted that at all times UK Athletics fully cooperated with both USADA and UKAD throughout the investigations.
"Furthermore the Performance Oversight Committee's own investigation in 2015 was restricted to the interaction of the Nike Oregon Project with Mo Farah and not an anti-doping investigation. Such investigations can and should only be undertaken by the relevant anti-doping authorities."
Sky Sports News reporter Geraint Hughes in Doha.....
Sir Mo Farah's brief statement with regard to his former coach Alberto Salazar's suspension is clearly his attempt to draw a line under his association with the now-disgraced Cuban-born coach.
After moving on from Salazar in 2017, on Tuesday Farah said he was relieved that USADA had completed its investigation and that he has no tolerance for anyone "who breaks the rules or crosses a line".
To be clear, at no point was USADA investigating Farah or suggesting any wrongdoing.
It is not quite the end of the matter, however, as UK Athletics became involved in 2015 through its Performance and Oversight Committee investigation into the interaction between Salazar, the Nike Oregon Project and Farah.
Back in 2015, Salazar was still Farah's coach. The committee then found no evidence that would cause them to prevent Farah from working with Salazar, although their investigation did not have an anti-doping remit, as those are undertaken by relevant anti-doping agencies.
In acknowledging the announcement made by USADA on Tuesday, their Performance and Oversight Committee will review the arbitration in full.
As for Salazar, well he was in Doha, but confirmation from USA Track & Field that they would be seeking to have his accreditation for the World Athletics Championships rescinded was swiftly followed by a statement from the IAAF confirming Salazar's accreditation was cancelled.
In effect that means 'get out'.
Salazar is no longer allowed in any official team hotel, training area or in the accredited area of the Khalifa Stadium. In most cases like this that I have come across either at World Athletics Championships or Olympics, the person in question leaves the country, and usually pretty quickly.