Former Olympic Coach Alberto Salazar Banned Amidst Anti-Doping Violations
Alberto Salazar was once a successful coach with the Nike Oregon Project (NOP), home to four-time British Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah from 2011 to 2017. This week, 61-year-old Salazar was banned from athletics for four years due to multiple anti-doping violations.
Salazar was sanctioned by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) along with endocrinologist Jeffrey Brown on the grounds of attempted tampering with athletes’ doping control processes and attempted trafficking of testosterone.
“The athletes in these cases found the courage to speak out and ultimately exposed the truth. While acting in connection with the Nike Oregon Project, Mr. Salazar and Dr. Brown demonstrated that winning was more important than the health and well-being of the athletes they were sworn to protect,” said USADA chief executive, Travis Tygart.
When asked about his former coach, Farah stated:
“I’m relieved that USADA has, after four years, completed their investigation into Alberto Salazar. I left the Nike Oregon Project in 2017 but as I’ve always said, I have no tolerance for anyone who breaks the rules or crosses a line. A ruling has been made and I’m glad there has finally been a conclusion.”
Due to this USADA’s ruling, the USA Track and Field Federation has since stripped Salazar of his accreditation for the World Athletics Championships, which are currently underway in Qatar.
Even after the ruling, Salazar insists he is innocent, citing strict adherence to WADA code.
“The Oregon Project has never and will never permit doping,” Salazar’s said in a recent statement. “I will appeal and look forward to this unfair and protracted process reaching the conclusion I know to be true.”
Although Salazar’s appeal is still pending, Farah has still drawn a line between himself and his former coach. The Olympic champion said he is convinced that Salazar crossed a line.
Salazar will await the Performance and Oversight Committee of the USADA’s review of his appeal. For the time being, he will not be allowed in any official team hotel, training zone or any area of Khalifa Stadium that requires accreditation.
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