UK Athletics has announced an independent review into its relationship with Alberto Salazar, left, who used to coach Sir Mo Farah, right, Britain's four-time Olympic gold medallist ©Getty Images

UK Athletics has commissioned an independent review into its own handling of its relationship with the Nike Oregon Project (NOP) run by Alberto Salazar, the American coach banned for doping. 

The national governing body for the sport in Britain had found in September 2015 "no reason to be concerned" about the fact that British athletes - most notably Sir Mo Farah - and coaches were working with Salazar, already the subject of doping allegations. 

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced last month that Salazar and his colleague, Dr Jeffrey Brown, had been banned for four years for "multiple anti-doping rule violations".

Nike closed down the NOP shortly after the ruling was announced. 

Both Salazar and Brown claim they are innocent and are challenging their suspensions at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. 

Under Salazar, Sir Mo won the 5,000 and 10,000 metres at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games in London and Rio de Janeiro, respectively. 

The independent review will be undertaken by John Mehrzad, a leading sports law barrister with significant experience of conducting independent reviews in sport and an active club runner with a personal best for the marathon of under three hours.

He was the only legal member of the independent review panel that looked into the climate and culture of the world-class programme in British Cycling. 

Mehrzad then chaired the independent review concerning governance issues within the British Equestrian Federation. 

Alberto Salazar was described as a
Alberto Salazar was described as a "genius" by former UK Athletics performance director Neil Black, who resigned following news of the American's four-year doping ban ©Getty Images

"There has been much written about what the [Nike] Oregon Project review looked into, found or concluded in 2015, and I therefore welcome this review as an opportunity to establish the full facts and for those facts to be published for all to see," Sarah Rowell, who chaired the 2015 review into the Nike Oregon Project and currently leads UK Athletics' (UKA) Performance Oversight Committee, said. 

UK Athletics performance director Neil Black, who described Salazar as "a genius" during their time working together, announced his resignation shortly after news of the American's ban became public.

Barry Fudge, Salazar's main contact at UK Athletics, has retained his role and is closely involved in helping British athletes prepare for Tokyo 2020. 

"The UKA Board recognises the seriousness of the USADA decision released at the start of October," UK Athletics chair Chris Clark said.

"It has unanimously agreed that an independent review should now be carried out with the aim that findings and recommendations are published in or around spring 2020.

"Our staff, athletes and coaches show immense dedication to this sport and are proud to be associated with British Athletics. 

"We need to ensure we have a clear way forward that gives us confidence in the integrity of our coaching efforts.

"If there are lessons to be learnt, we plan to implement any recommendations into a future-focused, transparent and accountable way of working."