British Athletics has insisted Mo Farah is no longer associated with a controversial athletics coach who was present at the double Olympic champion’s training sessions last year and was arrested by Spanish police on Monday morning after performance-enhancing drugs were found in a colleague’s room in his hotel during a dawn raid.
Jama Aden was described as an “unofficial facilitator” after it emerged that he was present at some of fellow Somali-born Farah’s sessions in Ethiopia last year.
Farah was then pictured with Aden this February as the double Olympic champion worked alongside some of Aden’s athletes at another training camp in Ethiopia.
Aden was led into a waiting police car early this morning when Spanish officers raided a hotel in Sabadell, Catalonia, where the coach and a group of his athletes were staying.
Telegraph Sport has learned that erythropoietin (EPO) was found in the room of one of Aden’s physiotherapists, who was also arrested. Organising or promoting doping is a criminal offence in Spain, where culprits are liable to face up to two years in prison.
Twenty-five of Aden’s athletes are currently undergoing drug testing conducted by Spanish anti-doping officials in collaboration with the International Association of Athletics Federation.
British Athletics say Farah has always been accompanied by one of its own coaches when in Aden’s presence over the past year and insists his relationship with the coach was never official.
“There was a short period last year where neither Neil Black or Barry Fudge [British Athletics coaches] were there, of about a week,” said a British Athletics spokesman of his time with Aden.
“All Aden did was hold a stop watch and shout out times. He wasn’t coaching. It was something that anyone could do and it wasn’t anything technical.”
Aden, who was based in Sheffield for a number of years with his British-born wife, left Somalia as a teenager and has built up a reputation as one of the most well-respected coaches in global athletics.
As well as coaching Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba, who broke the 1,500m world record last year, Aden has also been present at training sessions for Britain’s Mukhtar Mohammed for a number of years.
Mohammed is coached by his own brother but was working alongside Aden’s group when he won bronze at the 2013 European Indoor Championships.
Aden has had previous associations with athletes caught up in doping scandals when two of them, Qatar’s Hamza Driouch and Laila Traby of France, were banned for drugs violations in recent years. Driouch once claimed Aden had helped him dope, before later retracting his statement.
There is no suggestion that Farah, Dibaba or Mukhtar have been involved in any anti-doping offences.
Farah’s agent was last year forced to deny that the athlete had trained with Driouch after the Briton published a photo on social media appearing to show him running with the banned drugs cheat.
Ricky Simms, Farah’s agent, told Telegraph Sport that Farah was not part of a training group with any other athletes who may have been on the track at the same time, despite the presence of Driouch trailing him closely.
“Mo was in Ethiopia by himself,” said Simms. “He hired some local athletes to pace for him during his workouts and he wasn’t part of any other training group. It’s not unusual for people to jump in.”
Farah was not available to comment on Aden’s arrest.