In a series of statements released on Wednesday night, Nike Oregon Project head coach Alberto Salazar and his star pupil, 2012 Olympic 10,000m silver medalist Galen Rupp, vehemently denied the doping allegations levied against them by the BBC and ProPublica earlier in the day.
“I believe in a clean sport and hard work, and so do my athletes,” Salazar’s statement read. “Apparently that is not interesting enough for some. I am very disappointed that the BBC and ProPublica and their ‘reporters’ have allowed themselves to be used by individuals with agendas and have engaged in such inaccurate and unfounded journalism. Rather than present the facts, they opted for sensationalism and innuendo. It is particularly sad that they have attacked Galen and his excellent reputation, which he has earned through years of hard work.”
Rupp, whose alleged use of both prednisone and testosterone was said to extend as far back as 2002, when he was in high school, echoed his longtime coach’s statement, saying, “I am very disappointed in the BBC and ProPublica. I am dedicated to clean sport and have worked extremely hard for every accomplishment in my running career. I expressly told these reporters that these allegations were not true and their sources admit they have no evidence, yet they print ‘suspicions’ attacking me and sullying my reputation. That is inexcusable, irresponsible journalism.”
Nike, the global footwear and apparel brand which funds and supports Salazar’s Oregon Project training group, said, “We take the allegations very seriously as Nike does not condone the use of performance enhancing drugs in any manner. Both Alberto and Galen have made their perspectives clear and fully refute the allegations made against them.”