Following the growing controversy surrounding suspected “race fixing” at the Great North Run on Sunday, winner Mo Farah denied allegations that his competitor allowed him to win.
In a dramatic turn of events, Farah and Kenyan Mike Kigen battled it out to the line over the 13.1 mile course in Newcastle, resulting in a personal best and the crown of the first British winner since 1985.
Whilst the majority of the British public obliviously indulged themselves in the BBC coverage, others began to question the motives of the two athletes, as it seemed there was visible verbal communication in the latter stages of the race.
Even though this was true, Farah insisted they were only working together to run a fast time, as the Kenyan tried to urge Farah and himself towards a sub-one hour clocking.
Amongst a whirlwind of social media debates it was soon revealed that both athletes are contracted to the same management group, as well as being former training partners.
With this in mind, many were lead to believe that Kigen had voluntarily taken the role to pace Farah to victory, as it seemed as though the Kenyan had more to give in the final 200m of the race.
Despite denying claims Kigen slowed deliberately, in an interview with The Guardian, Farah admitted: “If it wasn’t for how high he thinks of me, he could have really had a go at one point.”
If both these athletes are found to be guilty this could be a big setback for athletics which, in recent years, has had growing interest due to the attraction of charismatic competitors such as Usain Bolt, and Farah himself.
In addition to this, such poor sportsmanship would also undermine the achievements set by former British winner Steve Kenyon, who held the record for nearly 30 years.
Whilst it is presumptious to jump to conclusions at this stage, it is important that this case is looked into further.
Despite a victory clouded by controversy, it is important to remember that Farah ran a 10-second personal best, whilst also putting his demons of last years race to rest.
Farah, who won the European Campionships double in August, will now prepare for next year’s World Championships, after having a year filled with highs and lows.