Farah splits with Salazar to return to London with family
London — Britain’s Olympic and world champion Mo Farah has split with longtime coach Alberto Salazar because he wants to move back to London with his family, he said on Monday.
Farah, who moved to Portland, Oregon in 2011 to work with distance guru Salazar, said the decision had nothing to do with doping allegations surrounding the coach, which have been denied.
"I’m not leaving the Nike Oregon Project and Alberto Salazar because of the doping allegations," Farah, 34, said.
"This situation has been going on for over two years. If I was going to leave because of that, I would have done [it already]."
In February, Salazar denied administering banned supplements to his athletes and issued a firm rebuttal of what he said were false allegations against him in a British newspaper.
The Sunday Times reported that Salazar had used prohibited infusions of supplements to improve the performance of his runners, citing what the newspaper said was a leaked US Anti-Doping Agency report.
But Farah said in Monday’s interview: "As I’ve always said, I am [a] 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 Agency] 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 time," he said.
Farah, who was born in Somalia and moved to Britain aged eight, won 5,000m and 10,000m gold at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics as well as six world titles in those distances.
He ended his track career earlier in 2017 to concentrate on road running and will now work with Gary Lough, who has previously coached his own wife and women’s marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe.
"I’m leaving [Salazar and the US] simply because my family and I are moving back to London," said Farah, who won 10,000m gold and silver in the 5,000m at the World Athletics Championships in London, the final track race of his career.
"We all loved spending our summer here [London] and [wife] Tania and I realised how much we have missed spending time with our friends and family — and the kids are so happy here, too."
Salazar wished Farah well.
"It’s been an honour and privilege to work with Mo and I wish him all the best as he moves to the marathon. I believe Gary is a great choice for him."
Farah said he had chosen to work with Lough because he had known him since he was 16 years old and they "get on well".
He was looking forward to improving his marathon times, starting with the 2018 London Marathon in April.