• Lord Sebastian Coe has challenged Alberto Salazar to defend himself
  • Salazar is accused of supplying his athletes with performance enhancers
  • Coe has seen the transcript to last week’s BBC Panorama documentary  

Matt Mcgeehan, Press Association

Lord Sebastian Coe, a friend of Alberto Salazar’s for over three decades, has called on the athletics coach to defend himself against allegations of administering banned substances.

Salazar, who lists Britain’s double Olympic champion Mo Farah among his athletes, was implicated in a BBC Panorama documentary along with American Galen Rupp. Both deny the allegations.

There is no suggestion Farah has broken any rules. The 32-year-old opted out of competing at Sunday’s Diamond League meeting in Birmingham to return to his United States training base and speak to Salazar.

Lord Sebastian Coe has called on Alberto Salazar to defend himself against allegations of supplying drugs

Lord Sebastian Coe has called on Alberto Salazar to defend himself against allegations of supplying drugs

Athletics coach Salazar (centre) has been accused of supplying his athletes with illegal drugs

Athletics coach Salazar (centre) has been accused of supplying his athletes with illegal drugs

Coe spoke with the caveat of having not seen the programme which made the allegations, but he has seen the transcript.

‘It’s for Alberto now to defend himself,’ said Coe, who was speaking on behalf of Vitality at Sir Bradley Wiggins’ Hour Record attempt in London.

‘He has to do that. I’m sure he will.

‘I’m not supporting him. I’m just saying that I have no way of knowing the voracity of what’s been said, but I do know Alberto and I’m sure he will mount a stout defence.

‘Mo will have to make a judgement about that.’

Coe, who is campaigning to be the next president of athletics’ world governing body, the IAAF, insisted Salazar will have full documentation for his career.

Salazar should be subjected to criminal investigation by the FBI, says anti-doping chief Craig Reedie

Salazar should be subjected to criminal investigation by the FBI, says anti-doping chief Craig Reedie

Witnesses told the BBC that Salazar had provided  Galen Rupp (left) with testosterone from the age of 16

Witnesses told the BBC that Salazar had provided Galen Rupp (left) with testosterone from the age of 16

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games chief added: ‘I’ve known Alberto 35 years, since 1980. He broke the world record in 1981. He’s a good friend of mine.

‘What I do know about Alberto is he is a first-class coach. He is fastidious, he has got an eye for detail, margins matter to him.

‘He will have a minute-by-minute record in everything he’s done in training since he’s been a High School coach.

Mo Farah (right) defeated his American counterpart to win gold during the 2012 Olympics in London

Mo Farah (right) defeated his American counterpart to win gold during the 2012 Olympics in London

Olympic champion Farah opted out of competing at Sunday's Diamond League meeting in Birmingham

Olympic champion Farah opted out of competing at Sunday’s Diamond League meeting in Birmingham

‘Mo’s training was completely chaotic before Alberto took over. Alberto hasn’t got him to run much faster, what he has done is made him stronger physically and mentally.

‘If there are questions then clearly Mo is going to ask those questions.

‘Don’t run away with the idea that this is a hole in the wall, circa 1970s Eastern Bloc operation. It’s not.’

Farah has said he will wait to speak to Salazar before making any decisions over their relationship, while UK Athletics said it had ‘no concerns’ about the Cuban.

Rupp and Farah train together at the Nike campus, which has been implicated in the doping scandal

Rupp and Farah train together at the Nike campus, which has been implicated in the doping scandal

Coach Salazar issues instructions to his athletes at the Nike campus in Beaverton, Oregon

Coach Salazar issues instructions to his athletes at the Nike campus in Beaverton, Oregon

Asked if Farah, the Olympic 5,000metres and 10,000m champion, should suspend his relationship pending further investigation, Coe added: ‘That’s for Mo to decide.

‘The relationship between an athlete and a coach can only be based on unflinching trust.

‘Mo will be making judgements about that now. I’m sure he and Alberto will sit down.’

Vitality Ambassador, Lord Seb Coe, supported Sir Bradley Wiggins’ UCI Hour Record attempt on Sunday, June 7.

 

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