Doping allegations repeatedly levelled at Olympic champion runner Mo Farah are inevitable, according to a fellow athlete who has known him for decades.
Former bronze medal sprinter Katharine Merry told Business Insider that Farah was always going to be dogged by drug questions, given the controversial company he keeps.
Farah has never failed a drugs test, and insists he is clean. But questions have lingered since a 2015 BBC Panorama documentary alleged Farah’s track coach Alberto Salazar was guilty of “doping offences.“
Salazar is also being investigated by the FBI and the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
According to Merry, who has known Farah through athletics since he was young, “questions will always be asked because of the associations he has had and has kept.”
However, she also said that in the absence of any proof Farah should be left alone.
She said: “I’ll never forget an interview he did a few years ago where he said to give him cold, hard facts, to give him proof, or to leave him alone.
“It’s fair to say he’s had his fair share of accusations but there does come a point where proof has to be delivered. It’s put up or shut up.”
Together with his Olympic achievements, Farah has won five gold medals at the World Championships; one in Daegu (2011), two in Moscow (2013), and two in Beijing (2015).
Farah is now due to compete in the 5,000 metre and 10,000 metre events at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London and is gunning for a “triple double,” a hat-trick of gold medal wins in two separate races over three World Championships.
“I’ve known him personally since he was small, so it’s been tough to watch,” Merry, a bronze medal winner in the 400 metre race at the 2000 Olympic Games, told us.
“But he is going for his triple double in this World Championships and that would be an extraordinary achievement.”
Farah contests the 10,000 metre final on Friday at 9.20 p.m. ahead of the 5,000 metre first round on August 9 at 8.05 p.m.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.