Team GB under fire as doctor failed to register use of legal performance-enhancing substance at 2014 London Marathon
SIR MO FARAH’S former doctor has been blasted for an “inexcusable” error.
Dr Robin Chakraverty was savaged for incompetence after failing to record injecting Farah with a legal performance-enhancing substance.
Furious criticism came his way as the dubious practices behind Britain’s Olympic success were laid bare.
Chakraverty, who left his post as chief medical officer at British Athletics to join the England football team last year, was not alone in being dragged over the coals by MPs.
He told the Culture Media and Sport select committee he was so busy that he forgot to record giving Farah injections of L-carnitine before the 2014 London Marathon.
British Athletics chairman Ed Warner called the oversight “disappointing” and “inexcusable”, adding: “He won’t be proud of that fact.”
Chakraverty revealed he had injected Farah with 13.5ml of L-carnitine before the marathon.
That is well below the 50ml maximum permitted over six hours by anti-doping regulations.
A leaked report from the US authorities claimed Farah’s controversial coach Alberto Salazar had breached the limit with his athletes but both Salazar and Farah deny all wrongdoing.
British Athletics’ head of endurance Barry Fudge said L-carnitine — which occurs naturally in steak, dairy products and vegetables — helped marathon runners burn more fat and less carbohydrates over the demanding distance.
But when Chester MP Chris Matheson questioned the ethics of injecting an athlete with a substance, however legal, for the sole purpose of boosting performance, Chakraverty said: “We have a support system for all of our athletes, particularly our top athletes, that gives them an advantage.
“I don’t think we should necessarily apologise for that.
“I think it’s something that is brilliant about sport in the UK.”
But the Farah situation has uncomfortable similarities with the row over another sporting knight of the realm, Sir Bradley Wiggins.
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The Tour De France winner and Olympic legend, who retired from cycling last year, has been dogged by questions about his use of therapeutic use exemptions to take otherwise-illegal substances and the mysterious package sent out to him at a race in France in 2012.
British Cycling and Wiggins insist they are innocent of any wrongdoing.
But their failure to keep proper medical records means no one will ever know for sure.
MPs also gave a grilling to Liz Nicholl, chief executive of UK Sport, which distributes hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to sports in the quest for Olympic and Paralympic medals.
Solihull MP Julian Knight asked Nicholl if she and UK Sport were guilty of a “dereliction of duty” for failing to detect and prevent the kind of bullying and toxic environments which whistleblowers from cycling, swimming and canoeing have alleged existed.
Nicholl admitted UK Sport should have asked British Cycling to show them the full internal report into its high performance programme, rather than accept a summary which, it emerged, had left out important details.
But she added: “UK Sport hasn’t failed in its duty of care.
“The duty of care primarily rests with the sport.”