Mo Farah: Steve Cram condemns 'witch-hunt' against British runner

Steve Cram

Britain's double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah is the victim of a 'witch-hunt', says former world champion Steve Cram.

Farah released a statement on Friday saying he had never taken performance-enhancing drugs.

It follows a BBC investigation which alleged his coach Alberto Salazar had practised doping techniques with US athlete Galen Rupp.

"It has begun to look like a bit of a witch-hunt against Mo," said Cram.

"It seems as if some people are deliberately going after him and that is a shame."

It was revealed on Thursday that Farah had missed two drugs tests before he went on to win gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m at the London 2012 Olympics.

The BBC documentary made no suggestion that Farah had been involved in doping, while Salazar also denies the claims levelled against him.

Sportspeople in Britain missing drugs tests
Year (1 Jan to 31 Dec)Number of missed tests or filing failuresNumber of sportspeople on national registered testing poolNumber of sportspeople sitting on two strikes for missed tests
Source: UK Anti-Doping
20104339415
2011663659
2012403619
2013383181
2014372664

But Cram told BBC Sport said he believed that the whole issue has become complicated.

"We have gone off on a couple of different tangents from the original set of allegations," said the BBC athletics commentator.

"The allegations were against his coach. Now Mo has also had to come out give an explanation about the two missed tests. We need clarification on that.

"Some sections of the media seem keen to make out that a missed test means avoiding a test, which it does not.

"There is an individual here being targeted around his credibility as an athlete. In some quarters people are now saying he is a cheat.

"I can understand why Mo is annoyed and frustrated and all the other words he used in his statement."

Cram - who won 1500m gold at the 1983 World Championships in Helsinki - says he is disappointed Farah's two missed tests became public knowledge because they are supposed to be confidential.

In his statement, Farah said he had explained the missed tests - in 2010 and 2011 - without saying what his explanation was.

The athlete has been training in the south of France before a scheduled return to the track at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco on 17 July.

"Running is the one thing Mo can control at the moment and the one place where he can be Mo Farah and get away from this to some extent," said Cram.

"It can't be easy but until something is proved against him we want to see him on track and racing because we don't have many medal hopes.

"I bet he can't wait to get back to racing."

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