Mo Farah launched a fierce attack on the media for trying to “destroy” his achievements less than 24 hours after ending his track career with a silver medal in the World Athletics Championships 5,000m, with the long-distance runner beating his chest in a press conference on Sunday morning while tears ran down his face.
Farah was reduced to tears on Saturday night as he dealt with the combination of losing a first major final in seven years with the feeling of saying goodbye to the athletics track, with the 34-year-old now set to switch his attentions to marathon running.
Saturday’s silver medal added to his incredible collection that sees him stand out as Great Britain’s most successful athlete, having won four Olympic gold medals and six World Championship golds along with two silvers.
However, his career has been dogged by allegations made against his American coach, Alberto Salazar, who is still being investigated by the United States Anti-Doping Agency [Usada] over alleged drug use.
After losing out to Ethiopia’s Muktar Edris in a gruelling 5,000m final at the London Stadium Farah held a press conference on Sunday morning where he defended himself against the media and accused them of trying to “destroy” his reputation.
Mo Farah’s final race at London 2017 World Athletics Championships
“It’s like I have achieved what I have achieved and you are trying to destroy it,” he said.
“You guys, so many times towards me, you have been unfair. I don’t know why.”
Farah then started to beat his chest as he eyes welled up, with the Somalia-born Briton insisting he is a clean athlete.
“Over the years you guys have done many things to build a person up and then bring them back down and the reality is…I’m going to still keep working, keep fighting and making my country proud.
“You can write what you like, I’m a clean athlete and as long as I understand that I sleep well at night.”
With Salazar reportedly under investigation for giving athletes banned supplements and substances, Farah insists the repeated questions about their relationship is “like a broken record” and that he has distanced himself this year from the coach, who has not been at any of his races and may not continue to work with him as he takes to road racing.
“For the last three or four years I have been pretty much by myself and it didn’t make much difference really – I knew what I needed to do,” he said.