Mo Farah: Coe can change athletics

Lord Coe, pictured, has received the backing of Mo Farah in his bid to become IAAF president

Double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah has backed Lord Coe to "change athletics" if named IAAF president this week.

The 58-year-old will find out on Wednesday if he has been entrusted to succeed Lamine Diack in the top job of the crisis-ridden sport's world governing body.

Coe is running against pole vault great Sergey Bubka for the presidency of the International Association of Athletics Federations and has a huge job ahead if voted in.


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This is one of the most crucial times in the sport's history given the pounding it has received by repeated drug scandals, with the former London 2012 chairman keen to increase resources in "this battle for our sport's integrity".

A long, difficult road ahead awaits the next IAAF president, but it is a task double Olympic champion Farah believes Coe is capable of succeeding in.

"You don't want to see anything bad in the sport, but if we all do our best that's all you can do," he said.

"Hopefully, with Seb stepping into the job... I hope he gets that job because I believe he can change athletics.

"What he did for London 2012 was incredible, so I believe he can do a great job.

"I don't want to see anything bad in athletics because that's the sport that I do every day and the sport that I love. I don't want people getting the wrong end of the stick."

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Asked what needs to change in the world of athletics, Farah said: "In my opinion, if we all did what we do in the UK in terms of how we do testing, if every country applied to that rule, it would change dramatically. It would change a lot."

The uneasiness around athletics has brought Farah's own success into focus, with UK Athletics finding no evidence of wrongdoing in its recent investigation into allegations of doping against his coach, Alberto Salazar.

The governing body also said its investigation had not given it "any reason to question the appropriateness of the input" given by the Nike Oregon Project to the double Olympic champion's training regime.

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UKA launched a review following allegations broadcast in a BBC Panorama programme in June that Salazar, the head coach at the Nike Oregon Project in Portland where Farah trains, had violated several anti-doping rules.

Salazar is an 'unpaid consultant' for UKA and has strenuously denied all the accusations against him, while Farah, who was not accused of any wrongdoing in the BBC documentary, has vowed to stick by his coach unless any allegations are proven.

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