Jama Aden, the coach who guided Genzebe Dibaba to the 1500m world record and worked as an “unofficial facilitator” with Mo Farah when he trained in Ethiopia, could face up to four and a half years in prison if found guilty of alleged doping offences, according to reports.
The Spanish paper El País said it has seen the prosecutor’s report on Aden, which accuses the British-Somali coach of putting the health of his elite athletes at risk by providing them with up to eight types of substances and medications to improve their performance.
The news follows police raids in June 2016 on several premises in the Catalonian town of Sabadell where Aden and his athletes were staying. Six doctors from the IAAF, athletics’ world governing body – which had been monitoring Aden for three years – and officials from the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency found different types of the banned drug EPO and 19 syringes preloaded and ready to use.
While none of Aden’s athletes who were present subsequently tested positive for banned substances he has been under investigation ever since. El País’s report says the prosecutor’s report concludes the trainer did provide his athletes with substances prohibited in sport in Spain and “medicines that did not have the administrative authorisation” to be marketed in Spain and that, therefore, were “absolutely clandestine”.
Although no trial date has been set, prosecutors want the maximum penalty for Aden and his trusted physiotherapist, Ouarid Mounir, although whether they are able to extradite Aden from Qatar, where he is now based, is another story.
In 2016, British Athletics confirmed Aden had only ever been an “unofficial facilitator” for Farah for a week when he trained in Ethiopia in 2015 with his duties limited to shouting out times as Farah ran laps round the track in the Ethiopian town of Sululta.
A spokesman for British Athletics said Aden had helped Farah when the performance director, Neil Black, and the head of endurance, Barry Fudge, were not around, and they had subsequently changed their rules.
Farah was also photographed with Aden in February 2016 when he trained alongside some of the Somali’s athletes at another camp in Ethiopia. “All Aden did, for a very short period of time, was to hold a stopwatch and shout out times to athletes as they completed their track sessions,” the spokesman added. “There was no coaching or anything technical involved.”
In 2016, a spokesperson for Farah said: “Jama has nothing to do with Mo as an athlete or his training. But occasionally they are in the same place at a track for a training session alongside many other athletes and coaches from across the world. Mo is always with a British Athletics person and of course they will speak to him and be courteous if they bump in to each other but Jama has no input into Mo’s training whatsoever.”
In a statement to the Observer the Athletics Integrity said it had noted the El País report. “The AIU has been in close contact with the Spanish authorities from the outset of this matter,” it said. “We will continue to monitor the proceedings and take any action necessary to protect the integrity of athletics.”