Salazar kicked out of worlds after 4-year doping ban

ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 01, 2019 07:14 PM
Salazar kicked out of worlds after 4-year doping ban
FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2015, file photo, track coach Alberto Salazar watches a training session for the upcoming World Athletic Championships at the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing. Salazar, who trained four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah and a number of other top runners, has been given a four-year ban by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. USADA said in a news release Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, that Salazar and Jeffrey Brown were receiving four-year bans for, among other violations, possessing and trafficking testosterone while working at the Nike Oregon Project (NOP), where they trained top runners. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

By Eddie Pells, Associated Press

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Track coach Alberto Salazar, who trained four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah, along with a gold medalist and other top contenders at this week's world championships, has been kicked out of the competition after being handed a four-year ban in a case long pursued by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

USADA said in a news release early Tuesday that an arbitration panel decided on the four-year penalty for Salazar and endocrinologist Jeffrey Brown for, among other violations, possessing and trafficking testosterone while training top runners at the Nike Oregon Project (NOP).

Brown did consulting work for the NOP and was a personal physician for some of the runners.

Among the seven runners listed as members of Salazar's team are Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, who won the 10,000-meter gold medal on Saturday night, and is entered to run later this week in the 1,500; and Donavan Brazier and Clayton Murphy of the U.S., each of whom are scheduled to run in the 800-meter final Tuesday.

The USADA ban went into effect Monday, and track's governing body, the IAAF, moved quickly to revoke Salazar's credential for the final six days in Doha.

In a statement released by NOP, Salazar said he was shocked by the arbitration outcome, and that he would appeal. He said throughout a six-year investigation, he and his athletes "endured unjust, unethical and highly damaging treatment from the USADA."

"The Oregon Project has never and will never permit doping," Salazar said.

The existence of the long-running USADA investigation became public after a 2015 report by BBC and ProPublica that detailed some of Salazar's practices, which included use of testosterone gel and infusions of a supplement called L-carnitine that, when mixed with insulin, can greatly enhance athletic performance.

Distance runner Kara Goucher and a former NOP coach, Steve Magness, were among the witnesses who provided evidence for the case. USADA said it received information from 30 witnesses. Goucher left NOP in 2011, and in the ProPublica piece, she called Salazar a "sort of a win-at-all-costs person and it's hurting the sport."

Farah, who runs for Britain, worked with the Nike Oregon Project while he was racking up six world and four Olympic championships. During that period, UK Athletics did its own investigation into Salazar and gave Farah the OK to continue working with him. Farah parted ways with Salazar in 2017, saying he wanted to move back home.

On Tuesday, Farah released a statement saying he has "no tolerance for anyone who breaks the rules or crosses a line."

Salazar also coached 2012 Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp, who in the past has strongly denied any wrongdoing.

USADA said it relied on more than 2,000 exhibits between the two cases and that proceedings included nearly 5,800 pages of transcripts.

"The athletes in these cases found the courage to speak out and ultimately exposed the truth," USADA CEO Travis Tygart said. "While acting in connection with the Nike Oregon Project, Mr. Salazar and Dr. Brown demonstrated that winning was more important than the health and wellbeing of the athletes they were sworn to protect."

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