Usain Bolt on Farah allegations: “People like to point fingers”

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Usain Bolt has revealed his sympathy for Mo Farah following the doping allegations surrounding his coach and told him to not let them affect his racing.

The pair are both in action on the opening night of the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium on Friday, with Farah’s outing over 3,000 metres his first race in England since the accusations against his coach Alberto Salazar came to light.

Farah, the Olympic and world champion over 5,000m and 10,000m, has come under heavy scrutiny after it was alleged Salazar, head coach at the Nike Oregon Project in Portland, had violated anti-doping rules.

The 32-year-old has not been accused of any wrong-doing, while Salazar himself has strongly denied the allegations.

Asked for his thoughts on the situation, Bolt said at a press conference: “I’ve heard a lot about what’s going on.

“I’ve come through the ranks with Mo, so I’ve seen the work that he’s put in. For me I’m sorry for Mo, because everyday I hear in the papers they’re trying to tear him down. I think he works so hard.

“To get where he is, for somebody’s mistake to be causing him problems, for me I just really hope that he doesn’t take it too seriously and it doesn’t stress him out. It’s part of the sport, people like to point fingers sometimes.”

Bolt and Farah are good friends – they memorably posed on the podium at London 2012 performing one another’s signature poses – and share an agent in Ricky Simms.

The Jamaican added: “When you come through difficult times like this you don’t try to get into someone’s personal space too much. I’ve relayed messages to Ricky, I’ve talked to Ricky to see where his head space is at.

“He says he’s okay, he’s just trying to focus on the championships and training hard. I know I’ll see him this weekend so we can talk.”

Farah, who will defend his world titles in Beijing next month, is standing by Salazar, whom he has worked with since 2011 and who helped transform him from a European champion to the global king of distance running.

And Bolt can understand his decision.

“When you have confidence in your coach over the years and you know who he is as a person, of course you’re going to want to support him as an athlete,” he said. “If he believes in his coach, I believe in him.”

Farah’s performances have appeared unaffected by the allegations, with strong showings on his two outings – in Lausanne and Monaco – since they surfaced.

And when asked by ITV’s Good Morning Britain if he put all the accusations to one side, he said: “For sure, yes.”

He added: “It’s not a nice thing but at the same time, I answered everything that I can and it’s not in my control, it’s nothing to do (with me).

“But at the same time I’ve answered everything. At the minute I just want to carry on running, enjoy what I do.”

On returning to the Olympic Stadium, he said: “I’m very excited to be able to go back in that stadium and compete again, in front of my home crowd.”