Alberto Salazar’s ban confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport
Alberto Salazar, the famous Nike trainer who in October 2019 was banned from athletics for four years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for “orchestrating and facilitating prohibited anti-doping behavior”, had his ban confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The news, which was first reported by the BBC and The temperature from London, has been confirmed to The runner’s world by a source with knowledge of the matter.
USADA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The runner’s worldnor Nike.
Salazar, 63, was coaching several athletes at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar when his suspension was announced in 2019. He was excluded from competition before several NOP riders, such as Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands and the Americans Donavan Brazier and Craig Engels, had finished competing.
No athlete in the Nike Oregon Project has ever failed a drug test. At the time of the 2019 decision, Nike was alongside Salazar.
“[The] The decision had nothing to do with administering banned substances to a Project Oregon athlete, ”a Nike spokesperson said in a statement. “As the panel noted, they were struck by the care Alberto took to ensure he complied with the World Anti-Doping Code.”
The statement said at the time that company officials supported Salazar’s decision to appeal.
Following Salazar’s initial decision, Nike shut down Project Oregon and its athletes dispersed to different coaches. Many, like Brazier and Engels, were already training mainly under the guidance of Pete Julian, Salazar’s longtime assistant, when the ban was imposed.
Galen Rupp, who won two Olympic medals under Salazar, now trains under Mike Smith of Northern Arizona University. Rupp won the 2020 Olympic Marathon trials and finished eighth in the Tokyo Olympic Marathon.
Jordan Hasay, who has suffered injuries since Salazar trained her to a 2:20:57 marathon in 2017 in Chicago, was coached by former world marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe. In March, she joined the training group led by Julian.
Nike CEO at the time, Mark Parker, resigned in January 2020. He continues to be the company’s executive chairman.
Salazar was also suspended by another governing body, the US Center for SafeSport. In January 2020, Salazar’s name appeared in the centralized disciplinary database of this body. He was found to be temporarily suspended, after reports by or on behalf of at least three runners trained by Salazar.
On July 26, 2021, this suspension was reclassified as “permanent ineligibility” for sexual and emotional misconduct, but it was subject to appeal.
In November 2019, former Salazar athlete Mary Cain said in a New York Times op-ed that she was emotionally and physically abused by Salazar, and that the all-male coaching staff at NOP were convinced she needed to lose weight. According to Cain, they weighed her in front of her teammates, she stopped running well, and she started having thoughts of suicide.
The USADA ban on Salazar is expected to expire in September 2023. It is unclear whether he will appeal the SafeSport ban and return to training.
In July, New York Road Runners removed Salazar, who won the New York City Marathon in 1980, 1981, and 82, from its hall of fame. In August, following the SafeSport decision, Nike renamed the Alberto Salazar building on its Beaverton, Oregon campus to the Next%.
This story will be updated.
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