The controversial Nike Oregon Project coach has been banned from coaching for “orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct”.

The former coach of Mo Farah, as well as a whole host of athletes currently competing at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, was banned alongside endocrinologist Dr. Jeffrey Brown, who also worked with the Nike Oregon Project.

USADA announced that the panels “found that Salazar and Brown trafficked testosterone, a banned performance-enhancing substance, administered a prohibited IV infusion, and engaged in tampering to attempt to prevent relevant information about their conduct from being learned by USADA.”

Full USADA statement here.

The specific rules violations for Salazar were:

1. Administration of a Prohibited Method (with respect to an infusion in excess of the applicable limit),
2. Tampering and/or attempted tampering with the doping control process, and
3. Trafficking of testosterone through involvement in a testosterone testing program in violation of the rules.

Dr. Brown violated anti-doping rules by:

1. Tampering with patient records
2. Administration of an over-limit L-carnitine infusion
3. Complicity in Salazar’s trafficking of testosterone

Still coaching world class athletes

Salazar is still working with a whole host of world class athletes such as Galen Rupp, Shannon Rowbury, Yomif Kejelcha and Konstanze Klosterhalfen.

It must be unsettling for Sifan Hassan, who has just decided to attempt an unprecedented 10,000m/1500m double in Doha, following her astounding finish of a 3:59 1500m to win the 10,000m gold medal.

Great Britain’s Mo Farah stopped working with in 2017 and has since been working with Gary Lough as his coach. At the time Farah denied that the split from Salazar had anything to do with the USADA investigation into his old coach and stated that it was more about moving back to the UK with his family.

Salazar released a statement on the NOP website stating:

“I am shocked by the outcome today. Throughout this six-year investigation my athletes and I have endured unjust, unethical and highly damaging treatment from USADA. This is demonstrated by the misleading statement released by Travis Tygart stating that we put winning ahead of athlete safety. This is completely false and contrary to the findings of the arbitrators, who even wrote about the care I took in complying with the World Anti-Doping code:

“The Panel notes that the Respondent does not appear to have been motivated by any bad intention to commit the violations the Panel found. In fact, the Panel was struck by the amount of care generally taken by Respondent to ensure that whatever new technique or method or substance he was going to try was lawful under the World Anti-Doping Code, with USADA’s witness characterizing him as the coach they heard from the most with respect to trying to ensure that he was complying with his obligations.”

I have always ensured the WADA code is strictly followed. The Oregon Project has never and will never permit doping. I will appeal and look forward to this unfair and protracted process reaching the conclusion I know to be true. I will not be commenting further at this time.”

“Winning more important than health”

The comment that Salazar is responding to by USADA’s Chief Executive Officer Travis Tygart was that “The athletes in these cases found the courage to speak out and ultimately exposed the truth.

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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