Track & Field

“I’m gonna f***ing kill you”; Nike Athletics Director Capriotti allegedly issued death threats

John Capriotti, who is one of the most powerful figures in world athletics, threatened to kill a head coach of a rival brand at the USA Track and Field Championships in June, it has been alleged.

Details of the death threat were made public today after gained access to the police report detailing the incident with Danny Mackey, who is head coach for the Brooks Beast group and a former Nike employee, named as the victim of the alleged incident.

According to the police report, Capriotti confronted and threatened to kill Mackey in the medical tent on the night of Thursday, June 25 and accused him of bringing his name up in a meeting.

Mackey had been sitting with his athlete Dorian Ulrey after the heats of the men’s 1500m when Capriotti is said to have entered the tent enraged, with three other Nike employees following him, and demanded the coach’s attention.

When Mackey told him to wait a minute while he spoke to his athlete, Capriotti allegedly leaned down and, with his nose touching Mackey’s ear, whispered: “you know what you fuckin did. I’m gonna fuckin kill you.

The two men argued for several minutes after Capriotti allegedly accused Mackey of being involved in the doping scandal threatening Nike’s Oregon Project in the weeks beforehand and as the noise escalated, a group of around 20 gathered to watch, before Capriotti was told to leave by a fellow Nike employee.

As the global director of athletics, Capriotti is one of the most powerful behind-the-scenes figures in the sport.

Several other athletes and people within the sport spoke anonymously to Letsrun and said Capriotti has a long history of threatening and bullying people, but that few are willing to go on the record about him due to the power he wields in the sport when it comes to allocating Nike funds.

To read the full story, which was written by Letsrun’s Jonathan Gault, click here.


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Cathal Dennehy

Cathal Dennehy

Cathal Dennehy is a freelance journalist, a once-serious, now-retired athlete who writes for a number of international publications in the running industry. He has won two sports-writing awards, the Peter Ball Memorial Award in Ireland and the Wills Writing Award in the UK. Nationally, he previously worked for the Sunday Tribune, Irish Runner magazine and has written for the Sunday Independent, Irish Independent, the Guardian and The Independent in Britain. He is a regular contributor to Running Times, Runner's World, RunBlogRun and the IAAF website.
His banter levels are often poor, occasionally exceptional.

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