EUGENE, Oregon (Reuters) - Galen Rupp capped a tumultuous month of accusations he had been involved in doping by winning his seventh consecutive national title at 10,000 meters at the U.S. world championships trials on Thursday.
The London Olympics 10,000m silver medallist, whose coach Alberto Salazar is accused of doping violations involving Rupp and others, pulled away over the final three laps to win in 28:11.61 and qualify for August’s world championships in Beijing.
He gave a thumb’s up as he crossed the finish line.
“It’s been hard I‘m not going to lie. It’s been difficult to focus,” the 29-year-old Rupp told reporters.
“I‘m real happy that our report came out yesterday. I stand behind it 100 percent,” he added of a lengthy report issued by Salazar rebutting accusations by the BBC television program Panorama in association with American website ProPublica.
“I believe in clean sport and I think the truth will prevail.”
Rupp said he stood “100 percent” beside his coach, who watched the race from a corner of the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field.
All of the allegations have been denied by Salazar, Rupp and training partner Mo Farah, the British double Olympic champion.
Farah has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
Rupp, who also plans to run the 5,000 in Eugene on Sunday, said he and Farah had talked since the allegations.
“It’s between me and him,” Rupp said. “But we’ve definitely been in communication.”
He did not answer directly whether he would urge Farah to continue working with Salazar.
“I can’t speak for him, obviously, but I think we’ve got a great thing going and he’s had great success,” Rupp said.
“We know we do things the right way so really that’s all I’ve got to say to him.”
A source told Reuters Salazar is being investigated by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to determine if anti-doping rules may have been violated.
The investigation began before the BBC report, the source said.
Rupp added the past month had been ‘difficult’.
“I think in the end, I know the truth,” he said.
“I‘m ready to race, this is why I compete and I‘m not going to let anything get in the way of that.”
Reporting by Gene Cherry in Eugene, Oregon; Editing by Greg Stutchbury