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Transcript Surfaces Of Tense Stand-Off Between Mo Farah And Ewan MacKenna

Transcript Surfaces Of Tense Stand-Off Between Mo Farah And Ewan MacKenna
By Gavin Cooney Updated

Mo Farah sauntered to gold in the 10,000m final at the Olympics last night, much to the exultant delight of the British public. Steve Cram on the BBC commentary was particularly exuberant in Farah's victory, declaring on the home straight:

They succumb to the inevitable. Bow to his superiority.

Farah is one of the most popular figures in British sport, but there are serious questions concerning his relationship with some shady doctors in the past, allegations which Farah is not often asked about.

These relationships include Alberto Salazar and Jama Aden. Salazar has worked as his coach in the past, and was named in a BBC Panorama documentary last year in connection with doping violations. The documentary featured testimonies from people associated with Salazar about alleged micro-dosing of testosterone athletes involved in the Nike Oregon project. Salazar declined comment and rejected the allegations. The Telegraph revealed in January that Salazar would remain as an unpaid consultant with UK Athletics, and that he would only work with Farah.

The spotlight was back on Farah last month after running coach Jama Aden was caught with EPO and other banned substances in Catalonia. Aden too has worked with Farah in the past, although Farah denied that the relationship was close, saying merely he held his stopwatch.

Such doubts surrounding Farah are exacerbated by the fact he missed two doping tests ahead of the 2012 Olympics, claiming he was asleep and did not hear the tester that arrived at his door in one instance.

Following his gold medal run last night, Irish journalist Ewan MacKenna quizzed Farah on his relationships with these coaches, and the resulting exchange was quite tense. A partial transcript of the conversation has appeared on letsrun.com:


McKenna [sic]: I was wondering as someone who preaches clean athletics, I was wondering about your association, and repeatedly, your association with people from [Alberto] Salazar to John Smith to [Jama] Aden. And secondly, in terms of Aden, when you explained it, you said he was just holding a stopwatch for you yet his daughter on Twitter today was posting pictures of you having dinner at his house and she said and I quote, ‘We’re very good friends and my dad trains with him.’

Farah: Sorry, who’s that? (emphasis ours)

McKenna: Jama Aden.

Farah: Obviously, you know it’s a small sport… There’s so many athletes by getting pictures of them — obviously you’re taking a picture, you’re not going to say no, are you? So it doesn’t mean you train with them.

MacKenna revealed on his own twitter that he had asked the questions:

Farah is a good news story to many in Britain, and, as a result, headlines surrounding him are rarely negative. As proof of how rare such a line of questioning against Farah is, a number of British journalists thanked and congratulated MacKenna on his questions after the press conference, per Richie McCormack of Newstalk.


Farah will be back in action in Rio in the 5k this week. We wonder if this is the last time he'll be asked about Jama Aden. Much of the global media remains enthralled by him.

See Also: Explaining The Result Annalise Murphy Needs To Win An Olympic Medal

See Also: The Farcical Reasons As To Why The Olympic Diving Pool Turned Green Have Finally Been Revealed





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