London - British long-distance running star Mo Farah will no
longer work with long-time coach Alberto Salazar but has denied the split is
related to doping allegations surrounding the Oregon-based guru, it was
reported on Monday.
In an interview with The Sun newspaper, Farah, the four-time
Olympic champion over 10 000m and 5 000m, said he was ending his association
with Salazar because of a move back to Britain.
The 34-year-old Somalia-born star began training with
Salazar in 2011 at his Oregon Project camp in Portland, and won his first world
title the same year in the 5 000m at the Daegu World Championships.
Salazar's training base however has been the subject of
intense scrutiny from the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
A leaked USADA report this year asserted that Salazar had
likely violated drug protocols, later denied by the coach.
Farah, who has repeatedly denied involvement in doping, told
The Sun the allegations involving Salazar were not behind his decision.
"I'm not leaving the Nike Oregon Project and Alberto
Salazar because of the doping allegations," he told the paper.
"This situation has been going on for over two years,
if I was going to leave because of that I would have done.
"As I've always said, I am firm believer in clean sport
and I strongly believe that anyone who breaks the rules should be punished.
"If Alberto had crossed the line I would be out the
door but USADA (US Anti-Doping) has not charged him with anything. If I had
ever had any reason to doubt Alberto, I would not have stood by him all this
Farah, who has retired from track running to concentrate on
the marathon, said family reasons had driven the move.
"I'm leaving simply because my family and I are moving
back to London," he said.
"We all loved spending our summer here and Tania and I
realised how much we have missed spending time with our friends and family -
and the kids are so happy here, too.
"We want the kids to grow up in the UK. It's the right
thing to do for my family. But both Nike Oregon Project and Alberto are based
in the USA, so it just would not be possible to continue our relationship from