Sir Mo Farah has hit back at questions over his legacy after finishing second in the World Championships 5,000m final on Saturday night.
Farah broke down in tears after missing out on a fairy-tale finale in his final track appearance at a major championship before switching to the road.
The four-time Olympic champion failed to mount a third defence of his 5,000m title as Ethiopia’s Muktar Edris claimed gold in London on Saturday.
Farah, who had already won the 10,000m last week, had not lost a final in 2,176 days, and collapsed to the track after the race and covered his face before being hauled to his feet.
He is due to retire from the track at the end of the month, after the Diamond League final in Zurich, to focus on the marathon.
However, less than 24 hours after his heartache the British athlete faced some of his detractors at a London news conference.
Farah took issue at some journalists who questioned whether links with his controversial coach Alberto Salazar, who is being investigated by the US anti-doping agency, had harmed his career.
“We seem to always think in a negative way,” he said. “Particularly the British press.
“As you know, we build [our athletes] up and bring them back down or we just keep building [them up]. It’s one way or the other.
“As you know, you [British press] guys have done certain things to build a person up and bring [them] back down.
“The reality is, no matter what you [press] do, I’m going to still keep fighting, keep working, keep making my country proud.
“I’m proud to be British, to put my GB vest on and do it for my country. As I said, you can write what you like. I’m a clean athlete, I sleep well at night.”
Farah won the 10,000m and 5,000m at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships while he also claimed the 5,000m crown in 2011, taking silver in the 10,000m – the last time he was beaten in a major event.
The 34-year-old runs in Birmingham in the Diamond League next Sunday before finishing his career on the track in Zurich.
Farah also dismissed any significance over Salazar’s absence in the English capital and is still unsure over if the pair will continue together when he switches to the road.
He said: “I haven’t thought that far ahead. I’ve a few races left, then I’ll take a nice break and see how it goes.
“How many races has he been to this year for me or last year? He hasn’t been to any races. 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.”