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Pray for Mo Farah: the doorbell tolls for thee

mo farah dope


The Times says Mo Farah, the London 2012 Olympic 5,000 and 10,000 metres gold medal-winner, has hired Freud’s, “one of the world’s biggest PR companies”. It won’t make him run any faster, but it could keep him in delicious, performance enhancing (it says here) Quorn.

Farah’s named is being sullied because Alberto Salazar, his American coach, has been accused of breaking anti-doping rules. Farah and Salazar deny any wrongdoing.

Mo’s innocent. But the story of his innocence is a messy one.

Farah could have faced a ban for avoiding drug testers had UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) not believed his claim that he did not hear the doorbell when they called at his home in Teddington, southwest London, in 2011. The test was the second that Farah had missed in the run-up to the London Olympics, having missed another in 2010. Three missed tests within an 18-month period, at the time, would have resulted in a ban. Farah had claimed that he was in his bedroom and could not hear the doorbell, but had the testers believed that he was deliberately not answering the door, UKAD could have charged him with evading a test, the penalty for which would have been an immediate suspension

But they could not. Is Mo hard of hearing? Was the radio on? The Mail says the testers rang Farah’s door “for an hour”. Did they also call his phone? Poke him on Facebook?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 19th, June 2015 | In: Reviews, Sports | Comment

Why Mo Farah lost: the cost of banking regulation

File photo dated 17/08/2013 of Great Britain's Mo Farah. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday August 23, 2013. Mo Farah is to be the honorary starter of the Bupa Great North Run weekend. See PA story ATHLETICS Farah. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

I THINK we’re all agreed that Britain’s latest hero, Mo Farah, should be allowed to have what he wants. I think we’re all also agreed that we want to stamp out tax evasion, drub money laundering and the abuse of the financial system by the big banks.  Unfortunately it appears that we cannot have both at the same time.

Farah has been running a campaign to get Barclay’s to continue to service money transfer companies. There’s around 1,000 of them in the UK, they’re often used by immigrants to send a bit of cash to the old folks back home. Such remittances are in fact the largest reducer of poverty in the world. Vast sums flow through these systems. However, they’re only vast sums in aggregate: most of the actual remittances themselves are a couple of hundred quid or so. And that’s where the problem comes in:

A number of the world’s largest banks have pulled back on operations in profitable emerging markets as international anti-money laundering rules tighten.

Barclays’ decision follows a similar action by HSBC in the wake of its record $1.9bn settlement with US authorities over money-laundering allegations.

Barclay’s was one of the banks offering the basic banking services to those money transfer firms. They’re now a great deal less willing to do so: in fact, they’ve cut some 250 from the list they’re prepared to deal with, leaving only 25 that they will deal with. This list of 25 doesn’t include any at all in Somalia which is what Mo Farah is pissed about.

But the thing is, why should Barclay’s risk the sort of fines that HSBC  had to pay? And it’s important to note that no one ever did prove that HSBC was laundering Mexican drug money: rather, the proof was that they weren’t running their bureaucratic system to check that they weren’t laundering Mexican drug money properly. So, what’s a bank to do? Refuse to deal with people who cannot follow the regulatory rules? Or keep open an essential lifeline to a poor country like Somalia?

Well, obviously, we do all demand that the bastard banks obey the law so yes, it’s the Somalis that get screwed.

There really are costs of regulation of an industry you know.

Posted: 5th, September 2013 | In: Money, Sports | Comment

Mo Farah running away from things: photos

MO Farah Running Away From Things  is the Tumblr of the day:


MO-re here.

Posted: 13th, August 2012 | In: Sports | Comment

London 2012 in photos: double winners Mo Farah and Usain Bolt epitomise humanity at its best

JOY. Before reality encroaches like a shadow on our lives once more, we should bathe in the light that is Mo Farah. After Mo won a thrilling 10,000 metres gold at the London 2012 Games, Mo won a thrilling 5,000m gold at the London 2012 Games. The Somalia-born Londoner epitomises the grace, courage, charisma and talent we’ve watched for the past two weeks. He and many of his peers have shown us the best of humanity. It’s been brilliant. It’s been great telly. The talk is of an Olympic legacy. This is it: memories of sporting excellence. Here are 26 photos of Mo’s stirring show – with added Usain Bolt. C’mon – do the Mo commotion:


Picture 1 of 26

Jamaica's Usain Bolt and Great Britain's Mohamed Farah imitate each other after the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Posted: 11th, August 2012 | In: Sports | Comment

In photos: Mo Farah wins 2012 London Olympics gold

MO Farah won the men’s 10,000-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at London 2012.  He avoided the dastardly Eritreans, his training partner’s spit, a one-shoed Kenyan and more spikes than a hedgehog’s bum. He’s no Slow-Mo. But then Mo’s a winner. He once beat The Cube on ITV:

Posted: 4th, August 2012 | In: Sports | Comment