DOHA – Athletes must choose their coaches carefully to avoid any risk of guilt by association, global athletics boss Sebastian Coe said on Wednesday, two days after a four-year ban was handed to leading American coach Alberto Salazar.
Coe, speaking to a group of news agency reporters including Reuters, also defended the organisation of the world athletics championships in Qatar, saying that the athletes were not worried about small attendances at the Khalifa stadium.
Salazar was banned by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency USADA on Monday for “orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct” as head coach of the Nike Oregon Project (NOP), a camp designed primarily to develop U.S. endurance athletes.
Salazar said he would appeal USADA's decision and sportswear giant Nike said it would stand by him.
A number of the athletes in Doha train at the NOP including women's 10,000 metres gold medallist Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands and American Donavan Brazier, who won Tuesday's men's 800 metres.