Two-time U.S. Olympian Kara Goucher offered this response today in the ongoing discussions surrounding performance-enhancing drug allegations made against Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar. Goucher was coached by Salazar from 2005-2011 and was a Nike-sponsored athlete until 2013. Goucher moved back to Boulder, Colo., in late 2013 to train under her former college coaches, Mark Wetmore and Heather Burroughs, and is now sponsored by Skechers Performance, Oiselle and other brands.
Out of respect to my fellow runners celebrating their USA meet and teammates racing overseas, I delayed talking about this subject a couple weeks so that more positivity could be focused on the amazing track performances in the U.S. and abroad that deserve full attention.
I went public with the truth about what I experienced at the Oregon Project and under the coaching of Alberto Salazar last month because I believe in upholding the integrity of our sport, and I wanted to confirm what I had already told USADA in 2013. What prevented me from coming forward in 2011 was fear of further retribution after already being suspended by Nike for giving birth to our son. Regardless of Alberto’s expected attack on me and my family, I will continue to tell the truth and cooperate with USADA. Doing the right thing regardless of the fear of retaliation is the only way that things are ever going to change in the fight for clean sport. My biggest hope in coming forward is that I encourage others to come forward and tell the truth as well.
Over the past several weeks, 17 Oregon Project athletes and staff members have come forward to report what they saw during their time at the Oregon Project to the media, and since the USA Championships last month, I know that the number of people who have come forward to USADA has grown. After going back and forth on deciding what to share, I have ultimately decided that it won’t help the USADA investigation if I share any further evidence publicly, so any new knowledge will be shared to USADA alone.
I firmly stand by all my statements, and it was because of the illegal actions that occurred at the Oregon Project under Alberto Salazar that I chose to leave the group. The decision was mine, and I never looked back.
This has certainly been a challenging time for my family and me, and it has taken some time to get the courage to stand up to some the most powerful people in USA running. As my fellow competitors know, these issues run much deeper than just Alberto Salazar and include people that can make or break your career. But if multitudes can come forward as they have here, that shows that runners hold themselves and the sport to a higher standard and I want to do everything I can to make sure it stays there. I am confident that this fight is exactly what our sport needs and is long overdue. I will never regret speaking the truth and furthering the fight for clean sport.