Track & Field

Salazar strikes back, claiming accusers “knowingly making false statements”

Alberto Salazar has hit back at claims he was supplying doping products to his athletes and says the allegations outlined in last week’s report from the BBC and ProPublica are “false”. 

In a statement released to the Guardian, Salazar claims he can prove the accusers were “knowingly making false statements”.

Among the accusers in the report was Salazar’s former assistant at the Nike Oregon Project, Steve Magness, who said he saw documents that showed Galen Rupp had been taking the banned steroid testosterone since 2002.

Others who spoke out against Salazar included his former star athlete Kara Goucher, who claimed Salazar had coached Rupp how to circumvent anti-doping rules in order to get a therapeutic use exemption to use an intravenous drip ahead of the World Championships in Daegu in 2011.

Yesterday, Runner’s World ran an in-depth interview with former Oregon Project coach John Cook, who made a number of scathing criticisms of the practices used by the group. “My general thoughts were that all things eventually come to fruition,” he said. “I was, frankly, not surprised.”

Cook, who was coach to Shannon Rowbury before she joined the Oregon Project, says he has lost faith in the anti-doping system and along with it, much of his enjoyment of the sport. “I follow the sport without particularly much fervor or excitement because I know too much,” he said. “When I was naïve, I liked it a lot more. I’ve been turned off.”

To read the full interview with Cook, click here.

Salazar’s full statement, as reported by Sean Ingle, is below.

“Given the time and effort the BBC and ProPublica committed to making these false allegations I hope that media and fans will afford me a short time to show the accusers are knowingly making false statements. I will document and present the facts as quickly as I can so that Galen and Mo can focus on doing what they love and have worked so hard to achieve.”

A standard: Robinson en route to a world and Olympic qualifier. Image: PhotoRun
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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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