Track & Field

England: we must wait for the truth about Salazar

Hannah England, the former world silver medallist at 1500m, has called for the public not to rush to judgment in the wake of allegations against Nike Oregon Project head coach Alberto Salazar.

Writing in the Independent, England explained how she worked with the Oregon Project for a period towards the end of 2012 and was struck by Salazar’s methodical coaching methods and his willingness to offer helpful advice to others. England also explained how the over-use of therapeutic use exemptions in certain training groups may well be immoral, it is not in fact illegal. An extract from today’s piece is below:

Watching Panorama last week, if you’re being totally objective, a lot of what was there wasn’t particularly concrete. People say there’s no smoke without fire but there was a lot of smoke and that might just be they couldn’t air everything for legal reasons.

A lot of what was discussed is legal, thyroid medication for example. I consider the practice of pushing the legal boundaries immoral and not in the spirit of our sport but, as things stand, it’s not against the rules of our sport.

Of course, I think the rules need to change but that particular issue is not breaking the rules so that’s more one for Usada and Wada.

There’s been a lot of talk of thyroid medication, which I know is a grey area in sport. I once had an experience where I had a reading that suggested my thyroid was slightly underactive.

But rather than go on medication, British Athletics followed procedures properly and did follow-up tests before any knee-jerk reaction. Further tests showed that the reading was just an anomaly. I felt that treatment was motivated by medical well-being, not my performance levels.

To read the full column, click here.

Salazar to rely on Slaney testimony

Meanwhile, the Telegraph is reporting today that Alberto Salazar plans to use testimony from Mary Slaney to prove his innocence. Last weekend, Mo Farah claimed that before he joined the Oregon Project, Salazar re-assured him that he had no coaching involvement with Slaney at the time of her positive test for testosterone in June 1996.

However, several newspaper articles from that period had Salazar quoted as Slaney’s coach. JumpingTheGun understands that later this week, Salazar is expected to launch a PR offensive against several of the the people accusing him of illicit practices in the Panorama documentary.

To read Ben Bloom’s full piece on Salazar’s Slaney defence, click here.



Brian Gregan in action at the European Team Championships in Tallinn. Image: courtesy of Athletics Ireland
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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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