Mo Farah backs Lord Coe to heal athletics amid doping problems

Lord Coe
Lord Coe is the governing body's president

Great Edinburgh Cross Country

Venue:
Holyrood Park
Date:
Saturday, 9 January
Coverage:
BBC One from 13:00 GMT, BBC Sport website

Double Olympic champion Mo Farah has said he was shocked at the latest revelations to hit athletics but has backed Lord Coe to clean up the sport.

Three senior officials received life bans by the International Association of Athletics Federations ethics commission over doping cover-up claims.

Farah said of IAAF president Coe: "He's doing a great job. Obviously it's going to take time, but he's all up for it.

"You don't want to see your sport in a bad way.

"But it's getting rid of the bad ones," he added.

Former IAAF consultant Papa Massata Diack and Russian officials Valentin Balakhnichev and Alexei Melnikov received their bans for multiple breaches of anti-doping rules relating to Russian athlete Liliya Shobukhova.

The news came two days after Coe revealed that the world governing body's anti-doping budget would be doubled as part of his plan to rebuild trust in athletics.

"[Rebuilding trust] is going to take time," said 32-year-old Farah, who won 5,000m and 10,000m gold at the 2012 Olympics.

"We are working on it and that's what we've got to do. We've got to clean up.

"I don't want to see my sport in a bad shadow, but at the same time it's what it needs.

Mo Farah in Edinburgh
Mo Farah is competing at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country on Saturday

"Hopefully we can live by example. We do the best we can in our country to do what we're doing."

The latest bans come in the wake of Russia's suspension from international competition following systematic doping offences.

Former president Lamine Diack, father of Papa Massata Diack, is under investigation by French police and the ethics commission.

Nick Davies, deputy general secretary at the IAAF, announced he would step aside from his role as the director of the president's office while the ethics commission investigate allegations against him.

Coe, who succeeded Diack in August, has himself come under pressure in recent months over his former ambassadorial role with Nike.

However, Farah believes his fellow Olympic gold medallist will help athletics move forward.

Farah published a series of his own blood test results in the Sunday Times in August to prove he was himself a clean athlete and said he would prefer to focus on running rather than the debate over doping.

"I had my own reasons to publish them," said Farah, who runs in the Great Edinburgh XCountry on Saturday.

"I had nothing to hide, but at the same time I just want to be able to do what I do and that's to run, represent my country, win medals and get on the start line."

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