'Firstly, the drug testers are not there to give you warning — they are there to surprise you and to catch you, otherwise what’s the point in testing? Secondly, why is anyone coming for money?
Saturday May 19, 2018
By Riath Al-Samarrai
Sir Mo Farah insisted on Friday that he has never experienced any of the shady drug- testing practices exposed by the Asbel Kiprop saga.
Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic 1500m champion whose positive test for EPO was revealed by Sportsmail earlier this month, shone a light on the farce of Kenyan doping controls when he revealed he was tipped off by testers ahead of what is meant to be an unannounced visit.
The Kenyan also made the extraordinary allegation that he was asked for money by one of the doping officers, adding to long-standing whispers about inadequate and illicit practices in the country.
Farah trained often in Kenya until 2014 and has since done lengthy altitude trips each year in Ethiopia, where anti-doping standards have also drawn frequent criticism.
The quadruple Olympic champion was critical of testing practices in Africa, but when asked if he had ever been forewarned or approached for money by a tester, he said: ‘No. There are a few things wrong with that (Kiprop) situation.
‘I’ve always said it has to be a fair playing field. The rules we have in our country, I want other countries to do the same thing.
‘I have never heard of testers tipping off athletes. I have only heard it since he (Kiprop) came out and said that. It is a fact that other African countries are not doing what we do, or doing as many tests as Britain and other countries are doing.’
Farah has faced scrutiny owing to his previous relationship with the controversial coach Alberto Salazar, who is under investigation by US Anti-Doping, as well as his association with Jama Aden, a Somali coach arrested in 2016 on doping charges.
Farah maintained that he has regular blood and urine testing in Africa, with his most recent training block in Ethiopia ending days before his third-placed finish at the London Marathon in April.
He said: ‘When I was in Ethiopia I was tested on average every two weeks, and maybe even more. And when I was in Kenya I was tested a similar amount, although I haven’t been since 2014.’
Farah faces no significant competition in the 10km at the Great Manchester Run on Sunday as he returns to racing following his British record 2hr 6min 21sec effort at the London Marathon.
The 35-year-old is still experimenting with the 26-mile distance, but on Friday gave his clearest indication that he will run at both the World Championships in Doha next year and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
After laying out his blueprint, which would see him run a marathon this autumn, most likely in New York or Chicago, he stated his growing belief that he can win another Olympic medal.
He said: ‘Looking at the time I have run and what I can do then I believe I am capable of running faster. If I can learn to compete with more guys then I have a chance of coming away with a medal in Tokyo.
‘If you look at World Championships and Olympics, the times are not that fast so that shows I can mix it and win a medal.’