Track & Field

More NOP Athletes Reveal Prescription Drugs Pressure

Just over a week ago Alberto Salazar of the Nike Oregon Project came under serious scrutiny in a BBC documentary, as well as in an in-depth article by David Epstein.

Mo Farah at the Birmingham press conference

Mo Farah at the Birmingham press conference

Since that day of reckoning we’ve seen many twists and turns in this soap opera of a story that seems to have many more plot-lines yet to play out. Cathal Dennehy put Salazar under the spotlight at the Birmingham diamond league press conference by questioning his involvement as a coach with drug cheat Mary Slaney – a question which Mo Farah answered “Alberto said no, he wasn’t coaching her at the time she failed a drug test.”

Farah, who subsequently withdrew from the Birmingham diamond league, has since said that he is feeling “upbeat” and apologised to his fans for missing the event.

Today David Epstein, on ProPublica.com, revealed that three more former members of the Oregon Project have been in contact about “what they feel was inappropriate prescription drug use orchestrated by Salazar.” The number now lies at SEVENTEEN former athletes and staff who have made such comments.

“Among the new allegations, one runner recalled being tested four times in a matter of months for thyroid function — despite a lack of any symptoms — until getting a result that, while still well within the normal range, was deemed sub-optimal. The runner recounted finally getting a prescription for the thyroid hormone drug Cytomel.”

“It makes you feel revved up and good in a pretty immediate way,” the athlete said. “It feels like a performance enhancer when you’re taking it. I consider what I was doing a kind of doping.”

Read the full story from Epstein on ProPublica.com here.

Image via PhotoRun
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Gerard O'Donnell

Gerard O'Donnell

Gerard O'Donnell is an athlete, physical therapist, and MSc student. He is current national 110m hurdles champion and ranks 3rd & 5th on the Irish all-time list for the sprint hurdles events. He is occasionally referred to as GOD, not due to his initials, but because of his heavenly beard, which he has sported since the age of 5.

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