Mo Farah put his hopes of competing at London 2012 at risk by allegedly missing two drugs tests in the buildup to the Games and was warned by his coach Alberto Salazar that “they will hang you if you miss another”.
Under World-Anti Doping rules, a third missed test within the space of 12 months is the equivalent of a failed drugs test – and so would have left Farah, who went on to take 5,000m and 10,000m gold in London, facing a minimum of a two-year ban.
According to the Daily Mail, which has seen an email exchange between the UK Anti-Doping Agency and Farah’s representatives, Farah missed one test in 2010 and another in early 2011 shortly after he had joined Salazar’s training group in Oregon.
The paper says that Farah claimed he did not hear the doorbell when missing his second test and that his 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.
However, an email exchange between UK Anti-Doping’s lawyers and Farah’s representatives make it clear that Farah was to blame. “Intent and negligence are not the same thing, though, as I am sure you have advised him,” it read. “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.”
In the email, UKAD added: “We cannot ‘suspend’ the Second Missed Test”, and later told Farah’s representatives: “We remain of the view our collective efforts are best directed to ensuring that no further whereabouts issues arise between now and the 2012 Games.”
The Guardian contacted Simms and UK Athletics today but had no response to the allegations.
UK Anti-Doping also refused to comment on allegations of the missed drugs tests, but added in a statement: “UK Anti-Doping does not disclose personal data relating to an individual’s test history. UKAD has a dedicated athlete support officer who works with athletes on the national registered testing pool, and with national governing bodies of sport, to ensure they manage their whereabouts reporting responsibilities.”
Farah, who is training in France, has so far refused to comment on the latest claims which follow doping allegations made by the BBC’s Panorama programme against his coach Alberto Salazar and training partner Galen Rupp.
Among the charges against Salazar are that he gave the banned steroid testosterone to Rupp when he was 16, coached Rupp to get a therapeutic use exemption so he could use an intravenous drip before the 2011 world championships, and flouted several other doping rules. Salazar and Rupp deny all charges and Farah has not been accused of anything illegal.
Farah announced on Wednesday he would return to the track for the first time since the doping allegations against Salazar emerged at the Monaco Diamond League meeting on 17 July. He pulled out of the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix earlier this month, stating he was “physically and emotionally drained” by the affair.
Rather than racing in Birmingham, the 32-year-old jetted back to his Portland home to seek answers from Salazar. On Wednesday he was back on the other side of the Atlantic, posting on Twitter a picture of himself training in France. He said: “Good to be out on the track in France today, getting ready for my next race in Monaco!! Focusing on my training!!!!”
A week after competing at the Herculis meeting in Monaco, Farah is due to race at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium.