Mo Farah gives WADA go-ahead to retest doping test samples

By Sports Desk January 21, 2020

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah insists he would have no problem with any samples he has provided in doping tests being retested.

The British long-distance runner has for years had to contend with questions and insinuations surrounding his long association with the now-banned American coach Alberto Salazar.

Farah has always denied any wrongdoing and has never failed a drugs test, with the 36-year-old often running and winning under added pressure because of the focus that has been trained upon him.

Former World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) president Sir Craig Reedie, speaking while in office last year, signalled proposals that could see experts conduct new tests on old samples of the many athletes who worked with the disgraced Salazar.

Salazar strenuously denied breaking the rules but was found by the United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) last year to have committed three violations associated with "orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct".

He received a four-year ban, with Nike then closing the Oregon Project training group that he led. Salazar has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the punishment.

It emerged last weekend that UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) intended to prevent previous samples provided by Farah or any athlete from being re-examined, unless "credible evidence" could be provided that pointed to the use of banned substances.

UKAD president Nicola Sapstead voiced concern that old samples could be damaged by being released for fresh testing; however, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency - no stranger to controversy - has urged the British authority to drop its reluctance.

Farah has been a bystander during this exchange of views, but the six-time world champion would be open to his samples being looked at again.

That is a point he also made in the immediate wake of Salazar being banned.

Farah wrote on Twitter: "I've seen reports of my name in connection to UKAD and WADA about sample retesting.

"Just to be clear, I was not consulted about this and as I've said many times, I am happy for any anti-doping body to test any of my previous samples anytime."

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    ---

    Harber was designing clothing for the United States and British military in the late 1990s when he was hired by Nike to find a way of improving an athlete's performance in order for them to run at maximum velocity.

    He and MacDonald identified aerodynamics and the reduction of drag as the key element so they, along with Len Brownlie and Chester Kyle - two experts in the field - set about designing a suit that was composed of different fabrics for different parts of the body.

    "The reason every part of her body was covered up was to reduce drag," Harber explained.

    "The hood was key. You would never see a speed skater skating without a hood. If you've got hair, you're slowing yourself down. You see runners with big hair and you're like, 'What are you doing?'

    "You would never see a cyclist do that or a skater but it was a challenge for athletics, for running, because running has a look, it has a history, a heritage.

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    ---

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    ---

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    Freeman was the only athlete in Sydney to race in the suit with the hood up - meaning it was impossible to put an actual figure on its impact in terms of time saved - and she remains the only person to wear one at a Games.

    The science behind the suit has been used in outfits for speed skaters, cyclists and swimmers since, while sprinters have also benefitted from the technology with things such as arm sleeves that feature vortex generators.

    But the full suit with a hood? Athletes do not seem interested.

    "The power of culture is so massive," argued Harber, who suggested arm sleeves were more popular due to their usage among NBA players.

    "I think that's the main reason it hasn't been adopted is it's just not the look that athletics has. It's not something that people wear. 

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