Britain’s double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah is alleged to have missed two doping tests in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics.
The Daily Mail reports that the 5,000m and 10,000m Olympic and World champion missed one test in early 2010 and another in 2011. Missing two tests is permissible under the rules, but missing three is grounds for a ban of up to four years – indeed, it is this very rule which caught out British 400m world champion Christine Ohuruogu back in 2006.
According to the report, Farah’s first missed test occurred, “several months before the double Olympic champion teamed up with Salazar and six months before he broke David Moorcroft’s 28-year-old British 5,000m record and became the first Briton to break the 13-minute barrier.
“The second test seems to have been scheduled once Farah started working with Salazar. It should have taken place at Farah’s home in Teddington, London, but the athlete appealed to the UK Anti-Doping Agency, claiming that he did not hear his doorbell.”
The superstar athlete was already reeling from the BBC’s accusations that his coach Alberto Salazar and training partner Galen Rupp have been involved in doping. Both men deny any wrongdoing.
The Mail reports that Farah appealed to the UK Anti-Doping agency over his second test, saying that he was in his house in Teddington but did not hear the doorbell. The appeal was unsuccessful.
“As part of his appeal, Farah’s agent Ricky Simms submitted video evidence filmed in Farah’s house in which he tried to show that it was difficult to hear the doorbell from his client’s bedroom.
UK Anti-Doping lawyers dismissed it as evidence,” the Mail’s report adds. Under current rules any athlete who misses three doping tests in a 12-month period faces a ban of up to four years; before 2013, three missed tests in any 18-month period were sufficient.
The Mail claims to have seen email correspondence dated June 2011 to Farah’s lawyers from UK Anti-Doping, explaining why his appeal failed: “‘I can understand why your client remains frustrated, but that really is born out of the fact that he feels he is being punished for something that he did not intend to do.
“Intent and negligence are not the same thing, though, as I am sure you have advised him. The simple fact with this missed test is that your client says that he did not intend to miss the test, but it is clearly his own fault that he did.”
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