Farah in ‘happy place’ despite Salazar allegations

Mo Farah has insisted he is in a “happy place” despite allegations his coach Alberto Salazar has broken anti-doping rules.

Mo Farah has been under intense scrutiny ever since allegations surrounding Alberto Salazar emerged. Ian Kington / AFP
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MONACO // Mo Farah has insisted he is in a “happy place” despite allegations his coach Alberto Salazar has broken anti-doping rules.

But the Briton said he was uncertain whether he would defend both middle-distance titles come the August 22-30 world championships at Beijing.

Farah missed out on his European 1500m record by just 0.12 seconds in the Diamond League meet in Monaco on Friday in an outstanding race won by Kenyan Asbel Kiprop.

Kiprop, the two-time defending world champion and also 2008 Olympic gold medallist, clocked 3min 26.69sec, the fastest time in 14 seasons that left him the third fastest performer of all time.

World and Olympic 5,000-10,000m champion Farah was competing in his second race since doping allegations that his coach Salazar administered testosterone to American distance runner Galen Rupp in 2002 when Rupp -- a training partner of Farah -- was only 16, and encouraged misuse of prescription drugs.

The Somali-born Londoner struggled with the pace on the final dynamic lap and came in fourth in 3:28.93 behind two other 1500m specialists, reigning Olympic champion Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria and Morocco’s Abdelaati Iguider, two-time world indoor champion and bronze medallist at the London Games.

“It was good to be in that company,” said Farah. “I just could not close that gap on Asbel. Coming here I wanted to run hard, not just a race and it worked.

“As for the double in Beijing, I will do the 10,000m for sure and then we will see about the 5000m.”

Farah, whose training camp is based with Salazar in Oregon, said he understood why people were questioning him in relation to his renowned coach known in his running career as a marathon expert.

“Yeah, I do understand. I think the public and the people have the right to know because at the same time, as an athlete, they come and watch you, and I want people to come and watch me, come see me train,” Farah said.

“If there are questions there, of course they need to be asked.”

But Farah, who withdrew from the Diamond League meet in Birmingham to return to the United States to confront Salazar, insisted that he was sure his Cuban-born coach still had nothing to answer for.

“Yeah definitely,” he said.

“I’ve answered all the questions that I’ve needed to answer. All I want to do is to be Mo Farah and continue running faster and enjoy it.”

Was he feeling stressed by the unwanted attention? “Yes, obviously.”

“I’ve answered everything and I don’t want to keep going forwards and backwards,” he said.

“I want to run and continue running, training’s going well and I’m quite excited to be going back to London in the Anniversary Games (on July 24-25) and show people what I can do.”

Farah, who added that he was relishing the thought of catching up with his family after the latest six weeks away, said he didn’t want to contemplate losing home support in the wake of the damaging accusations -- although the runner is not implicated and Salazar has refuted all.

“I don’t want to think that, but everyone’s entitled to their opinion, so it’s important for me,” he said.

“What do I enjoy? I don’t really get into other things than my running. Ever since I was young, I’ve been Mo the athlete, so why do I want to get into other stuff?

“I’m in a happy place.”

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