Mo Farah demands all drug cheats should be given life bans

• Farah unhappy about competing against Alemayehu Bezabeh
• Olympic champion vented frustration after Great Edinburgh Xcountry defeat

Mo Farah has revealed his frustration at having lost medals to cheats and called for life bans for those associated of taking performance enhancing drugs.

Farah, who finished second to the American cross-country specialist Garrett Heath at the Great Edinburgh Xcountry yesterday, cited the case of the Ethiopian-born Spanish athlete Alemayehu Bezabeh, who beat him to win the 2009 European cross-country yet was later banned for two years between 2011 and 2013.

“I know I missed that medal,” said Farah, before naming Bezabeh, who finished 25th out of 30 competitors on Saturday. “I’m racing against a guy who I lost a medal to – but am I ever going to get that medal back? No. Anyone associated with that should get a liftetime ban. I’m doing it the right way so let me do what I do, let me run.”

Bezabeh was arrested in 2010 as part of Operation Galgo, an investigation by Spanish police, having been caught carrying a bag of his own blood for a blood transfusion. The investigation centred on the disgraced Spanish doctor Eufemiano Funtes and the Spanish middle-distance athlete Marta Domínguez. In November, Domínguez was stripped of her 2009 world steeplechase title because of anomalies in her blood passport.

In an interview with the BBC, Farah was also asked whether he trusted the scandal-hit governing body of athletics, the IAAF. “I trust myself,” he replied, blowing out his cheeks. “I don’t know if I trust anyone else, that’s all I can do.”


Sean Ingle in Edinburgh

The GuardianTramp

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