England football team doctor Robin Chakraverty should be investigated by the General Medical Council for failing to record details of a controversial supplement he gave Mo Farah to ‘help performance’ before the 2014 London Marathon, MPs have urged.
A Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee report said it was ‘shocked’ to hear Chakraverty, formerly chief medical officer at UK Athletics, had injected Farah with L-carnitine, which boosts testosterone levels, yet did not note down the dosage.
The failure to record the drugs given to Farah in April 2014, as revealed by Sportsmail and the BBC, is comparable to Team Sky and British Cycling’s history of poor record-keeping with regard to Sir Bradley Wiggins, MPs said.
UK Athletics, British Cycling and Team Sky have all been accused of ‘impeding’ the work of anti-doping authorities and making it ‘harder for clean athletes to clear their names’, according to the parliamentary committee.
UK Athletics is set to receive £26.9million of National Lottery and taxpayer funding in the run-up to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, while British Cycling will benefit to the tune of £29.6m.
The committee also questioned why Farah was injected with L-carnitine before the 2014 London Marathon to enhance his ‘own advantage rather than working on athletic prowess’.
The report states Dr Chakraverty had never before administered the supplement, which is legal if an athlete receives a maximum of 50 millilitres every six hours, and it was the first time Farah had ever been given the substance.
Chakraverty, the ‘lead men’s performance doctor’ for Gareth Southgate’s England footballers, told the committee he gave Farah 2.7ml via injection ‘to help performance’ ahead of his full marathon debut. The doctor attributed his poor record-keeping to being the only full-time member of staff and being ‘constantly on call’ for 140 athletes.
Last May, a leaked report from US Anti-Doping authorities into Farah’s then coach Alberto Salazar found the American used a banned method of administering L-carnitine to some of his athletes.
Farah, 34, has categorically denied using banned substances, but his use of three supplements — nasal calcitonin, a nasal spray to help reduce stress fractures, ‘particularly high’ doses of Vitamin D and iron — during a summer 2011 training camp overseen by Salazar were also examined by the committee.
Ed Warner, former chair of UK Athletics, told the committee his organisation’s failure to keep proper medical records was ‘inexcusable’ but has improved in recent years. He added: ‘Please do not tar us with the same brush.’
The report said: ‘The failure to keep proper records for the drugs given to Mo Farah draws an instant comparison with the issues we have previously investigated relating to Team Sky and British Cycling. We believe that the General Medical Council should investigate any incident where doctors working in sport have failed to properly record the medicines they are supplying to their athletes.’
The FA stood by Dr Chakraverty on Sunday night, saying they are happy he has fully complied with the DCMS investigation.