The public back-and-forth continues between Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar and the key figures accusing him of wrongdoing.
Soon after Salazar published a 12,000-word open letter on Wednesday defending himself against accusations of prescription drug misuse and possible doping violations (first reported by BBC and ProPublica), the key figures behind the accusations responded to Salazar’s defense.
Kara Goucher, who was coached by Salazar for 7 years as a member of the Nike Oregon Project, originally accused Salazar of instructing her to use a prescribed thyroid medication to help with weight loss after the birth of her son. Salazar denied those claims and attached emails from 2011 showing his happiness with Goucher’s body composition. In addition, Salazar shed insight into Goucher leaving Nike Oregon Project, saying Kara’s husband Adam made the relationship unsustainable.
After Salazar’s lengthy response, Kara Goucher released a statement that reads: “Unfortunately, Alberto’s false statements and one-sided, partial stories don’t tell the truth. Adam and I went to USADA in February 2013 when we had concerns about what we had experienced at the Oregon Project. When BBC and ProPublica approached us with the story, we felt that it was time to tell our truth. I am gearing up to run at USAs on Sunday, and right now my sole focus is on the race. I have more to say about this topic, and I will be happy to share after USAs.”
In addition, ProPublica followed up with former Oregon Project coach Steve Magness, whom Alberto Salazar attacked particularly hard in his two-part open letter. Salazar denied accusations Magness made regarding Oregon Project star Galen Rupp, then claimed that Magness was fired from the Nike Oregon Project (Magness originally claimed it was a mutual parting). In the new ProPublica piece, Magness provided documentation from Nike’s legal department, stating “this letter shall acknowledge that mutual decision to terminate the contract…”
ProPublica also follows up with other figures in the accusations, and clarifies some of the accusations that Salazar defended, saying “Salazar disputed several allegations that were not made in the stories, or inaccurately described allegations that were.”