Coe: IAAF instructing athletes to sever Salazar ties

The Athletics Integrity Unit is instructing athletes to cut ties with Alberto Salazar following his ban, Sebastian Coe said.

Sebastian Coe says the IAAF is telling all athletes connected to Alberto Salazar to sever ties.   -  Getty Images

Sebastian Coe says the IAAF is telling all athletes connected to Alberto Salazar to sever ties after he was banned for four years.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced the suspension on Monday. Salazar and Dr Jeffrey Brown were sanctioned for "orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct while acting, respectively, as head coach of the Nike Oregon Project (NOP) and as a paid consultant for the NOP on performance enhancement and as physician for numerous athletes in the NOP".

Salazar worked with long-distance runner Mo Farah from 2011 until 2017. British star Farah won four Olympic gold medals during that period.

Two independent three-member panels of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) found Salazar and Brown "possessed and trafficked a banned performance-enhancing substance and administered or attempted to administer a prohibited method to multiple track and field athletes", while the panel also found that both "committed tampering and complicity violations".

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The 61-year-old declared himself "shocked" at the outcome and outlined his plans to appeal.

However, IAAF president Coe, in quotes reported by The Guardian, said: "When you have been in the sport as long as I have, friendships and relationships can go back a long way.

"Alberto and I held world records at the same time. The charges laid by USADA were really serious and we are now in business mode.

"The Athletics Integrity Unit has already been in contact with those athletes and they are being asked to sever those relationships."

Asked how the punishment handed down to Salazar reflects on Farah, Coe replied: "Athletes have to have complete and total trust in their coaches and if they don't the relationship will fray.

"And if a coach is accused of something an athlete has to ask really detailed questions. You have to assume athletes do that."