IOC president, Thomas Bach urges WADA to investigate all athletes who trained with Alberto Salazar

by October 4th, 2019

Thomas Bach, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president, says he has contacted the World Anti-Doping Agency asking it to investigate all athletes who trained with the banned coach Alberto Salazar.

Salazar, who coached Britain’s Mo Farah for six years, was this week found guilty of “orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct” while at the Nike Oregon Project.

Speaking on Thursday at a news conference, Bach said the case was “very worrying and raises serious concerns”, and that he would be asking WADA to take a closer look.

Sebastien Coe president of the International Association of Athletics Federation, warned that any athlete who tries to stay secretly with Salazar would face a two-year ban themselves.

On what he will be asking Wada, Bach said: “To see how many athletes have been investigated. Have all the athletes been investigated who have been training in this centre? Does the report address the whole period of the existence of this project or only part of it? Could any Olympic results directly or indirectly be affected?

“We learned from the report that the athletes would not have known what happened to them – this is an important factor when looking at sanctions but disqualification is mandatory whether the athlete knows or not.”

In a statement, Wada said it could not comment publicly until it had reviewed the case in full. Salazar has said he will appeal against the judgment. This week Farah, who has never failed a drugs test, said he had “no tolerance for anyone who breaks the rules or crosses a line”.

Meanwhile Coe has vowed to clamp down on athletes using prescription medicines for performance enhancement in the wake of Usada’s investigation into Salazar – including the use of asthma and thyroid medication. The use of such medication is not illegal under the World Anti-Doping Code, but many in the sport believe using drugs such as thyroxin is unethical because it could damage an athlete’s health.

On Wednesday one leading coach asked UK Athletics to set up an inquiry into whether Salazar’s methods were ever used by British coaches and athletes. Coe admitted the issue was also a concern for him.