LONDON (Reuters) – Olympic champion Mo Farah said on Thursday he would have been “the first one out” had he known that his former coach Alberto Salazar faced a ban from athletics for doping violations.

Salazar stopped coaching Farah, double Olympic champion at both 5,000 and 10,000 metres, in 2017 when the decided to move back to England from the United States.

The Briton had said at the time that the doping investigation was not the reason they parted ways.

“Had I had known the news, what Salazar did, it’s taken four years, had I known that sooner I would have been the first one out,” the athlete, who has never failed a test and not being accused of any wrongdoing, the BBC.

“That’s the bit that’s kind of annoying, I wish I’d known quicker.”

Salazar has denied wrongdoing and has appealed against his four-year ban.

Farah in November that he was returning to the track to chase more gold in the 10,000m at this year’s Tokyo Olympics.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)