Doping allegations piling up against Nike Oregon Project

Three more athletes have come forward alleging Nike coach Alberto Salazar distributed performance-enhancing drugs.

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Three more athletes have come forward alleging Nike coach Alberto Salazar distributed performance-enhancing drugs.

A report from BBC and Propublica (the group that broke the story a couple weeks ago) reveals that a total of 17 athletes and staff claimthe legendary coach distributed or encouraged the use of prescription drugs for competition.

An unnamed former Nike Oregon Project athlete described Salazar, according to the report, as “acting as both a physician and a pharmacy.” Another runner reports that he was repeatedly tested for a thyroid function, without any symptoms, until they found a result that was deemed treatable. He was given a prescription for the thyroid hormone drug Cytomel.

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

(SOURCE: Willamette Week)

The new information disputes an interview Salazar gave the Portland Business Journal in which he said he prefers laser treatments for his athletes instead of pills.

Adam Goucher, a former Oregon Project runner who — along with his wife, former Oregon Project runner Kara Goucher — was among those making allegations against Salazar in the initial ProPublica and BBC stories said that Salazar “had his own little pharmacy, always … If you had something that was bothering you — ‘Here start taking some Celebrex’.” Salazar, Goucher added, is “big on medicine. He’ll give you a pill to help you fall asleep, give you a pill to help you go to the bathroom.” John Cook, who coached at the Oregon Project from 2003 to 2005, told Runner’s World that he was “not surprised” at the allegations regarding Salazar. In an interview with the BBC, he said runners “were getting [therapeutic use exemptions] left and right.” When asked by the BBC whether he witnessed the use of prednisone or testosterone, Cook replied, “I really don’t want to get into that.” Cook later clarified that he has no knowledge of testosterone use at the Oregon Project.

Kara Goucher previously told ProPublica and the BBC that Salazar discussed with her how he coached Rupp to fake symptoms of dehydration in order to obtain an IV before an important race. “They wanted the IV for whatever reason,” Goucher says, “to make Galen feel better, whatever, and they were manipulating the system to get it.” Salazar and Rupp did not respond to questions about the IV. Since that initial report, another former member of the Oregon Project told ProPublica that Salazar had described openly the symptoms that [Galen] Rupp knew to fake in order to obtain a pre-race IV.

(SOURCE: Propublica)

Nike Soccer is also fighting some negative PR as its deal with Brazil in 1996 has become the subject of a federal probe.

The Justice Department is investigating Nike’s 1996 deal to outfit the Brazilian soccer team “for possible evidence of any wrongdoing by the company in addition to its counterparts in the deal,” The Wall Street Journal reports.

The Journal, in a story published Saturday, reported, “The examination indicates the company is still of interest as the Justice Department pursues its wide-ranging probe of corruption in the global soccer business.”