Sifan Hassan celebrates after winning the 1500m in Doha.
Sifan Hassan celebrates after winning the 1500m in Doha.

The ‘black shadow’ hanging over remarkable double

The shadow of banned coach Alberto Salazar continues to haunt the world championships.

While Salazar is no longer in Doha after being sent home when news broke of his four-year doping ban, his athletes continue to raise eyebrows on the track.

Sifan Hassan completed a never-before-seen double on Saturday night when she won the 1500m to go with her 10,000m gold medal.

Stream over 50 sports Live & On-Demand with KAYO SPORTS on your TV, computer, mobile or tablet. Just $25/month, no lock-in contract. Get your 14-day free trial and start streaming instantly >

The Ethiopian-born Dutch runner is a member of Salazar's Nike Oregon Project.

The US Anti-Doping Agency found that Salazar had been "orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct" while head coach of NOP.

Hassan's unbelievable performances certainly had some of her rivals asking questions.

Her winning time of 3min 51.95sec was not only a world championship record but the sixth fastest in history.

Britain's Laura Muir, who finished fifth in the 1500m final, said: "There is a cloud . . . there is no avoiding that."


Sifan Hassan clears out for a comfortable win.
Sifan Hassan clears out for a comfortable win.

Another finalist, former world champion American Jenny Simpson, said: "Anybody who knows anything about this sport knows there's a black shadow over that group."

Australia's Jessica Hull, who was a semi-finalist in the 1500m in Doha, recently joined the Oregon group but claims she hasn't had anything to do with Salazar.


Athletics Australia is comfortable with the Hull situation given the former college star only joined the Nike group in July.

An angry Hassan hit out at her critics after her 1500m victory.

"It's a very hard week for me, I was so just angry and I could not talk to anyone. I just ran all out. That hard work can't be beaten by anything," she said.

Hassan took gold to add to her 10,000m success.
Hassan took gold to add to her 10,000m success.

"It's what makes me angry, I have been clean all my life. I work hard, I'm not an emotional person but it makes me so mad."

Another NOP athlete to win gold at these world championships - again in stunning fashion - was Donavan Brazier in the men's 800m.

Germany's Konstanze Klosterhalfen, who is also part of the Salazar training group, ran brilliantly in the final of the 5000m to claim bronze behind Kenya's Hellen Obiri.

She is coached by Salazar's long-time assistant coach Pete Julian who also takes care of Hull.

Salazar's most successful athlete is Britain's Mo Farah who he led to six world titles and four Olympic gold medals.