Salazar ban casts cloud over Doha – Muir

Laura Muir claimed a cloud hung over a remarkable 1500 metres final in Doha after her gutsy run earned her fifth place at the World Championships.

The Scot ran three minutes 55.76 seconds – her second best ever time – despite seeing her build-up ruined by injury and illness.

Alberto Salazar-trained Sifan Hassan added to her 10,000m title, claiming an emphatic victory in a championship record 3mins 51.95secs, as the 26-year-old from Holland shrugged off her coach’s four-year ban for doping violations.

Sifan Hassan crosses the line in first place
Sifan Hassan crosses the line in first place (Mike Egerton/PA)

Muir suffered a torn calf at the Anniversary Games in London in July and was second with around 200m to go before fading.

But she felt Saturday’s race in Doha was under a shadow after Salazar’s ban.

She said: “Given the news in the past couple of days I think there is a cloud and there’s no avoiding that. All you can do is focus on your performances and for me to do that sort of race I’m really happy.

“We’re all in it for the medals, to run well and to run in championships and just to enjoy the sport.

“At championships you have to stay focused and not let these things distract you, that’s what I did and went into the final really focused.”

Alberto Salazar
Alberto Salazar was handed a four-year ban just before the start of the championships (Martin Rickett/PA)

Hassan launched a passionate defence of her performances in Doha, saying the speculation arising from Salazar’s ban had made her “so angry”.

“It has been a hard week for me. I was so angry. I couldn’t talk to anyone,” Hassan, who was close to tears, told the BBC.

“I ran all out. I wanted to show that hard work can beat everything.

“This is what makes me angry. I have been clean all my life.

“I have been on top for almost five months. How can I do these things that they say?

“You cannot see my body. I have been such a good athlete since 2014. Now people start talking all this bulls**t.”

Sifan Hassan celebrates winning gold in the 1500m
Sifan Hassan celebrates winning gold in the 1500m (Martin Rickett/PA)

Muir, who came fourth at the World Championships in London two years ago, was unable to run for six weeks because of her calf injury.

She had also battled a knee injury and a stomach bug over the last two weeks.

Muir said: “I can take a lot of confidence, to know things can be so disrupted and I can still go out and do that sort of performance. Hopefully I’ll be fighting fit going into the Olympics.

“That was me unfit, if I’m 100 percent I’d love to see what I can do.

Laura Muir
Laura Muir reacts after the 1500m final (Martin Rickett/PA)

“It’s been a really bumpy journey. They rehab didn’t go as smoothly as we wanted to.

“We had a couple of setbacks. I was tweaking a couple of things. You lose that conditioning when you come back.

“I got a stomach bug a couple of weeks ago that took out half a week. If you add it all up, the injury took a lot out. Another tweak was half a week. It all builds up.

“Even with the injury and other things, I managed that. So I’m excited about what I can do.”

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