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Alberto Salazar Denies Doping Allegations

The Nike Oregon Project leader, who has come under fire recently for reported doping violations, strongly denied any wrongdoing.
© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, the New York Times and the Sunday Times of London quoted parts of a 2016 report prepared by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, in which it was alleged famed running coach Alberto Salazar was orchestrating a doping scheme within the Nike Oregon Project. Earlier this week, a track and field website, Flotrack, released what was purported to be an interim version of the report, dated March 17, 2016.


The portions of the report quoted by the Times claims that Salazar, along with a Houston-based endocrinologist named Jeffrey Brown, skirted and often outright violated USADA and WADA doping regulations. According to the Times, the report described Salazar's behavior as "patently calculating, misleading and dishonest."

Antidoping officials depicted Salazar as a medicine chest whose door swung open for the world-class athletes on Nike's payroll. They said he provided or helped gain access to prescription-dose vitamin D; calcitonin; ferrous sulfate; Advair; testosterone; and various thyroid medications.

The Times report indicates Salazar is accused of sending athletes to Dr. Brown, who has developed a reputation for diagnosing hyperthyroidism in distance runners, despite it being a rare diagnosis for athletes. Some believe treatment with a thyroid hormone can be a performance-enhancing stimulant. According to Flotrack, the report also includes speculation that he provided Gallen Rupp with testosterone during athletic massages. The report alleged that he had two different prescriptions from two different doctors, but Salazar claims he uses testosterone for his own personal medical problems.

Although USADA has not confirmed that the report Flotrack published is official, Salazar provided a written statement to the Oregonian denying the allegations and calling USADA's conduct "baseless speculation."

"As I have noted repeatedly, the successes my athletes have achieved are through hard work and dedication. I believe in a clean sport and a methodical, dedicated, approach to training. The Oregon Project will never permit doping and all Oregon Project athletes are required to comply with the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Code and IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations, the governing body of international track and field) Rules.

"To be clear, I never used testosterone when I was competing, I have never had 'dual' testosterone prescriptions, and I have never rubbed testosterone on an athlete. The baseless speculation by USADA to the contrary is simply wrong."

Allegations have dogged Salazar since a 2015 BBC and Pro Publica report, based on accounts from former athletes and coaches, accused him of doping violations. None of the Nike Oregon Project athletes, however, have ever tested positive for PEDs.