A “drained” Mo Farah has withdrawn from the Diamond League athletics meet in Birmingham a day after insisting he will not leave coach Alberto Salazar despite a BBC documentary alleging the latter had encouraged his athletes to use illegal substances.
The 32-year-old Briton, the double Olympic, world and European champion over both 5000 and 10,000 metres, said he was “emotionally and physically drained”.
“This week has been very stressful and taken a lot out of me,” he said in a statement.
“I have not been able to focus properly on today’s race and after the events of the last few days I feel emotionally and physically drained.
“I want to run well in the World Championships in Beijing and have decided it is better for me to go back to the US, seek answers to my questions and get back into training.
“I apologise to the people who bought tickets to come and watch me race and ask for your understanding at this time.”
Farah had said at a press conference on Saturday he was “angry” his name had “been dragged through the mud” and he had seen no evidence linking Salazar to doping.
“I’m not leaving Alberto, for the reason I’ve not seen any clear evidence,” said Farah.
There is no suggestion Farah has done anything wrong and Salazar strongly denies all claims made by the BBC documentary, namely that he had encouraged athletes including the United States’ Olympic 10,000 metres silver medallist Galen Rupp, a training partner of Farah, to use illegal substances.
“I’m a clean athlete. I’m against drugs 100 per cent and believe anyone caught should be banned for life,” Farah said on Saturday.