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the London Stadium they have nothing but love for Mo Farah. On Saturday night Farah will race on the track there for the last time, in the 5,000m final, and whether he wins gold or not, the home fans will cheer every stride he takes. Here – where every roar carries an echo of 2012 – watching Farah run remains a straightforward pleasure, one people will pay a lot of money to experience. It is beyond the stadium walls that everything gets more complicated. Because out there not everyone is applauding. As Farah winds down his track career, his legacy and reputation have come to look as knotty and complicated as the tangled girders of the Orbit. Isaac Makwala makes final after beating illness as Farah does just enough Read more In 2014 the website Letsrun.com ran a “doping perception poll”. It was designed to show whether their readers perceived athletes to be “clean” or “dirty”. A lot of elite athletes (and their agents) hate Letsrun. It is the place where running junkies go to talk about the sport and its message boards are filled with anonymous commentators sharing scurrilous accusations and scuttlebutt. They are a cynical lot but then a lot of athletics fans are, because they have been lied to so many times – by Ben Johnson, Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery and all the other athletes who were caught doping. Farah was one of the athletes Letsrun asked people to vote on. Of the 5,584 people who Teemu Selanne Authentic Jersey did, 56% thought he was “clean” and 44% thought he was “dirty”. Compare that with the polls for the two other great long distance runners of the modern era, Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele. Gebrselassie’s split was 73% “clean” to 27% “dirty” and Bekele’s 72% to 28%. Which does not mean Farah is doping, just that a lot of Letsrun’s readers think he is. And that is true in Britain too. Letsrun broke the results down by country. Among the 270 British voters, 64% thought Farah was clean, 36% did not. Farah has never failed a drugs test, a fact he has repeated again and again. The trouble is, a lot of athletes who later admitted to doping used to say that too. Marion Jones passed 160 tests in a row (though she did eventually fail one, in 2006) and used that very argument when she sued Victor Conte for defamation because he said he had seen her take human growth hormone. They settled out of court. The IAAF’s anti-doping programme was so flawed for so long that every competitor has been compromised. After Lance Armstrong a lot of sports fans feel that passing tests is not a defence that passes muster. That is not Farah’s fault but it is his problem. Because, hard as this is for his many fans to hear, his career invites scrutiny. To understand why, you need to go back a decade, to 2007. That year Farah set a personal best of 13min 7sec. That ranks, now, just within the thousand fastest times ever run. There is no hard rule about when a distance runner reaches his peak but a study of 72 elite 5,000m runners published in 2011 found the mean average age for the peak performance in that group was 24 years old, which is the age Farah was when he ran that PB. At the world championships in Osaka that year Farah finished sixth in the 5,000m. At the world championships in Berlin in 2009 he finished seventh. By then he was 26. It is hard for an athlete to make a leap forward at that age but Farah did. In 2010, when he was 27, Farah lowered his PB by 9.6sec and then in 2011, when http://www.officialwinnipegjets.com/Adidas-Teppo-Numminen-Jersey he was 28, he cut it again by another 4.83sec. He explained the biggest reason for the improvements was that he had spent his winters training in Kenya and Ethiopia. It was also said he had become a lot more disciplined in his training and more dedicated to his careerBy then Farah had also joined Nike’s Oregon Project and started working under Alberto Salazar. “I believe he can just make that half-per-cent difference to get close to a medal,” Farah explained. Salazar did more than that. He turned Farah from the best distance runner in Britain into the best distance runner in the world. Farah won his first world championship title at Daegu in 2011, in the 5,000m. There was a lot of talk about the biomechanical changes Salazar had made to Farah’s technique, especially for his last-lap sprints, and the advanced machinery Farah was now using in training: underwater treadmills, cryogenic chambers and the like. Advertisement There was less discussion of Salazar’s medical and supplementation programmes. The details of those started to come out only in 2015, when ProPublica and BBC Panorama published a joint investigation in which two whistleblowers accused Salazar of experimenting with doping aids and of giving athletes prescription medicines they did not need. Salazar and the Oregon Project are still under investigation by the Unites States Anti-Doping Agency. An interim report, leaked earlier this year, gave an insight into how Salazar seemed to have been pushing the boundaries of what may be considered ethically permissible. Then in 2016 another coach, Jama Aden, was arrested in Spain. Police found the banned performance-enhancing drug EPO in the room of one of his athletes. Farah had worked with Aden when he first started training in Kenya and had also visited his training camp in Spain. Aden was described as an “unofficial facilitator” whose only job was to hold a stopwatch while Farah ran laps. “He’s not a http://www.atlantafalconsauthorizedstore.com/keanu-neal-jersey-elite close friend of mine,” Farah said but in his autobiography, published in 2014, he had said he and Aden “had known each other for years” and there are several photos of the two of them together. The apparent inconsistencies were unsettling. As the athletics analyst Ross Tucker argues: “I’ve seen people saying Farah can’t escape the association but that his legacy would have been much stronger and healthier were it not for Salazar. However, I don’t see how that argument even exists. This is a man who midway through his career was working with one of Great Britain’s best coaches, and whose ceiling appeared to be finals of major global championships and European success. Whatever has been achieved to earn the legacy [and by medals, it is the greatest track career ever] is the result of Salazar and the training camps and so forth.” Tucker, a high-performance sports science consultant, is hosting the Inside Lane podcast for Runners World during these championships. Aside from Farah’s associations with Salazar and Aden, there are other disturbing details. In 2015 it emerged Farah had missed two drugs tests, one in 2010 and another in 2011, which happened, he explained, because he had not heard the testers ringing his doorbell. Earlier this year Farah’s biological passport details were leaked to the press. They showed in 2015 Farah’s results had been flagged as “likely doping” but that, in April 2016, they had been checked and flagged as “normal with the last sample”. Farah’s spokesperson said “any suggestion of misconduct is entirely false and seriously misleading. Mo Farah has been subject to many blood tests during his career and has never failed a single one.” It all adds up to a long list of hard questions. Farah says he is sick of answering them. Which is one reason why he made the curious decision to hire Freuds to help manage his PR. Farah has released a limited range of his blood test results for public scrutiny, he has reiterated he is committed to clean sport and, of course, he has passed every test he has ever taken. Aside from formally separating himself from Salazar, he must wonder what more he can do. Because in the past three years Farah has come under more scrutiny than any other athlete on the circuit and, at the end of it, he is still subject Kemal Ishmael Womens Jersey to suspicion. Loud as the sound will be when he runs on Saturday, listen harder, outside the stadium, and it may start to sound just a little thin