These justifications seem to miss the point. What chilling message are you sending to all athletes, if you always shoot the messengers? If insider athletes like Kara/Adam are personally better off remaining silent, with no damage to their reputation, this only seems to make the anti-doping problem worse, and prolongs the solution, because of the chilling effect preventing USADA (or any other ADO) access to inside information they would otherwise not get.
In the case of 1) "no wrong-doing by NOP":
- It doesn't become defamation unless the statements are made publicly, such as a BBC documentary, Propublica piece, or post-race interviews. Athletes should be encouraged to come forward to USADA, or other relevant ADO, and let the investigations be handled in a correct and discrete manner, ensuring fairness to anyone who may be falsely accused. Athletes (and experts) should be discouraged from going to the public with premature statements that can cause great irreparable reputational damage.
- I wouldn't stop at Kara and Adam. If you want to talk about who would be guilty of "defamation", in this case (of no actual wrong-doing) I would cast a much wider net, which includes the reporters, and even many so-called "fans" of the sport, who continue to propagate these unfounded allegations of wrong-doing.
In the case of 2) "they need to confess to drug use"
- The main allegation seems to concern drugs that are not considered doping by WADA. Kara told us last year, she gave absolutely everything to USADA -- including medical reports, and she's able to sleep at night.
I think we can ignore any wild theories about affairs, as 1) something that doesn't concern USADA, WADA, or the public, 2) something that is not banned or otherwise illegal, and 3) desperate clutching at straws, because there is not enough facts to talk about doping.
>1) If the NOP "wrong-doing" wasn't in fact wrong, then the Gouchers also did not participate in anything wrong at the NOP
In which case they are merely defaming the coach and teamates who made Kara's entire career.
>2) If the goal is to "clean up" the sport, we should encourage athletes and staff, with access to inside information, to step forward
In which case, they need to confess to drug use and Kara needs to hand back that medal, until then, here's some vague implications of wrong doing that we think we can get away with, without implicating ourselves.
So in either scenario, the Gouchers are guilty of something, whereas Salazaar has innocent until proven guilty working for him, and we can't even rule out that the Goucher sour grapes are really about an affair between Salazaar and Kara.