Toni Minichiello, Jessica Ennis-Hill’s coach, says there is no excuse for Mo Farah’s missed drugs tests by insisting: It’s part of your job to make sure you get tested.
Farah - who, like Ennis-Hill, was victorious at the 2012 Olympic Games - hit the headlines this week when it emerged that he missed two drugs tests in the build up to London. Farah issued a statement yesterday reaffirming the fact he has never failed a test, but Minichiello - who coached Ennis-Hill to heptathlon Olympic gold - said: “It’s part of your job as a professional athlete.
“You remember your kit. You remember your spikes for training. You make yourself available for testing for one hour each day.
“You shouldn’t be missing tests, you should be organised well enough. The ‘one hour availability’ I think is a good system. You’re given three chances. In effect you get two warnings.
“Different situations do arise. But until that hour starts you can notify the testers by email, text message or phone call, to inform them of any change to your circumstances.”
Under current rules, athletes are required to inform administrators of their whereabouts for an hour a day, in case they are required to be tested.
Farah claims that when testers visited his house in Teddington, London, in 2011, he couldn’t hear the doorbell from his bedroom. The athlete issued a statement yesterday again strongly denying any wrongdoing.
“I have never taken performance enhancing drugs in my life and I never will,” it read.
“Over the course of my career I have taken hundreds of drugs tests and every single one has been negative. I’ve fully explained the only two tests in my career that I have ever missed, which the authorities understood, and there was never any suggestion that these were anything more than simple mistakes.
“The last two weeks have been the toughest of my life - with rumours and speculation about me that are completely false - and the impact this has had on my family and friends has left me angry, frustrated and upset. In particular, the media pressure on my young family and my wife, who is five months pregnant, is extremely painful, especially as I’m away training for some important races.
“As I made clear, I went to Portland to speak to Alberto Salazar and demand answers. He reassured me that the claims are false and that he will soon be providing evidence to make that clear. Until then I will not be commenting further on the allegations.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fans, family, friends and teammates for all the great support they have provided over the last few days and hope that I will now be allowed to focus on my training and winning medals for my country.”
Salazar, Farah’s coach, was recently caught up in drug controversy after the airing of a BBC Panorama documentary.
But Minichiello believes that there isn’t enough being done to trap drug cheats in athletics.
“There isn’t enough [testing],” Minichiello added.
“If the only excuse is money then it’s a weak excuse. Whatever the cost it’s a small price to pay for the credibility of the sport. The IAAF should at least triple the number of tests it does.
“We were at the Gotzis heptathlon recently and the IAAF would only pay for six tests - three men, three women – when there were 50+ athletes competing.
“The 1-2-3 were not automatically tested, athletes where chosen at random. Jess was tested and she came fourth.
“If we’re genuine about testing, if we really want to do something, then as soon as you make top-30 in the world your name goes on a register and you’re tested monthly.”