Alberto Salazar – Should Farah have stayed with him?

Yes I intentionally found the scariest picture of him I could find!  Hey apparently some people are a little afraid of him so for some it probably represent him quite well!

On the back of the news UKA announced today about finding ‘no reason to be concerned’ about the working relationship between Mo Farah and the Oregon Project and his coach Alberto Salazar, I thought I would give just a few quick thoughts on the situation.

Firstly, I am a little surprised that UKA did not wait until the USADA investigation into the allegations had been completed before saying anything.  In essence UKA have basically said what they have said previously about not finding any reason to suggest Farah should no longer work with him and the Oregon Project so was there really much point to this statement anyway?

For a lot of people there is a lack of trust about the sport right now and when there are lot of allegations against one man (over 17 witnesses have apparently come forward about him during the USADA investigation according to some reports), then to come out and say there are no concerns about him might give the wrong message.  Sadly, it is getting harder and harder to argue for ‘innocent until proven guilty’ but until guilt has been proven (or admitted), then not much can really be said or done about it.  Nor should it.

mo farah and salazar

Secondly, obviously Mo feels that it is right to continue with the coach with who he has had so much success with.  In terms of his legacy, he has already done more than enough to cement that, with you know ONLY 7 global gold medals in 4 years!  In terms of his perception though (which as I have said before is reality to 99% of people who aren’t big athletics fans) I fear he is a bit damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.  If he did leave Salazar and then became less successful and was only the 2nd or 3rd best in the world, people would then say he was only successful because of Salazar who was a ‘dodgy’ coach.  If he stays, then obviously some will stay suspicious purely by association.  Obviously he could leave him and still be as successful as he has been but with the Olympics and a World Championship in London approaching, he may find that a bit of a risk considering he might not have that many more opportunities to win any more gold medals bearing in mind his age.

I think most people can understand Mo’s reason for not cutting ties with Salazar or the Oregon Project.  As was repeated in every article ever written about the subject, Mo has never been accused of wrong doing (at least by the media or any organisations) and so he may feel that if these allegations aren’t true or haven’t been proven then why should he leave him?  You could argue about his perception but again he is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t in my opinion.

This story will run for a while yet and I am sure more allegations will come out and of course there is the result of the USADA investigation still to come.  For now though, I think Mo has earned the right to decide to stick with his coach.  He has done tremendously well considering all the stories about him and obviously was phenomenal at the World Championships this year with yet another double gold triumph.  We will just have to wait and see on this one but Mo deserves a bit of peace.

mo farah beijing

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