Sir Mo Farah has attacked the media for repeatedly raising drug allegations about his controversial coach Alberto Salazar during his fairytale career.
A silver medal in the 5,000m in the World Championships in London on Saturday saw the British legend fall agonisingly short of five golden global doubles in his last major event before retiring from track racing.
But in a news conference on Sunday, he took issue at journalists who questioned whether links with Salazar, who is being investigated by the US anti-doping agency, had harmed his career.
“It’s like I have achieved what I have achieved and you are trying to destroy it,” he said.
“You guys, so many times towards me, you have been unfair. I don’t know why.”
Later, Sir Mo, thumping his chest and with tears in his eyes, said: “Over the years you guys have done many things to build a person up and then bring them back down and the reality is… I’m going to still keep working, keep fighting and making my country proud.
“You can write what you like, I’m a clean athlete and as long as I understand that I sleep well at night.”
Sir Mo described the repeated focus on Salazar, who is reportedly being investigated over supplements and banned drugs being given to athletes under his care, as like a “broken record”.
He added that Salazar had not been at any races with him this season and he had not decided yet whether he will use his support as he starts to tackle road racing.
“For the last three or four years I have been pretty much by myself and it didn’t make much difference really – I knew what I needed to do,” he said.
At the World Championships in London, the ongoing controversy appeared not to have dampened the enthusiasm of his many fans.
As he made his way around the stadium for a lap of honour on Saturday, he was embraced by members of the crowd who asked for autographs and selfies.
Later in the evening, the same crowd booed US sprinter Justin Gatlin, who has twice been banned for doping offences, as he took part in the 4x100m relay, as he had been when he took gold in the 100m.