British Athletics doctors face scrutiny from MPs over Mo Farah infusion

Sean Ingle
The Guardian
British Athletics doctors face scrutiny from MPs over Mo Farah infusion
British Athletics doctors face scrutiny from MPs over Mo Farah infusion

British Athletics doctors will face parliamentary scrutiny over whether Mo Farah violated any anti-doping rules, or took potentially dangerous prescription drugs when there was no medical need, when they appear before the culture, media and sport select committee on Wednesday afternoon.

Dr John Rogers and Dr Rob Chakraverty, along with British Athletics’ head of endurance, Barry Fudge, will be questioned about the content of a draft United States Anti-Doping Agency report into Farah’s coach Alberto Salazar, which was leaked by the Russian hackers Fancy Bears in February.

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MPs are likely to ask about an infusion of the amino acid L-carnitine that Farah received from Chakraverty in 2014 while preparing for the London marathon. L-carnitine is not a banned substance but infusions of more than 50ml in the space of six hours would break anti-doping rules and it is unclear how much Farah took in his solitary infusion.

Rogers will be also asked about testimony he gave under oath to Usada in which he revealed that he had written an email to medical colleagues at British Athletics outlining his worries about Farah’s treatment after joining Salazar’s Nike Oregon Project training group in late 2010. He was said to be particularly concerned that Salazar had been making “off-label and unconventional” use of the prescription medications calcitonin, which can help prevent stress fractures, and thyroxine, which can boost testosterone levels, as well as high doses of vitamin D and the iron supplement ferrous sulphate.

The draft report allegedly said Salazar had not been aware at the time that Farah had a medical condition that meant he should not have been prescribed vitamin D or calcitonin in such high doses. Yet despite Rogers’ warning the report said Farah was given calcitonin until November 2011.

The chairman of British Athletics, Ed Warner, and the chief executive of UK Sport, Liz Nichols, will also face questions over the responsibilities of sports’ governing bodies in combatting doping.

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