USADA announced today that two independent three-member panels of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) rendered their decisions in the cases of Alberto Salazar and Dr. Jeffrey Brown, determining that each should receive a 4-year sanction for orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct while acting, respectively, as head coach of the Nike Oregon Project (NOP) and as a paid consultant for the NOP on performance enhancement and as physician for numerous athletes in the NOP.
“The athletes in these cases found the courage to speak out and ultimately exposed the truth,” said USADA Chief Executive Officer Travis T. Tygart. “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.”
Following two evidentiary hearings, Salazar’s lasting seven days and Brown’s lasting six days, and a lengthy post-hearing review of all the evidence and testimony, the AAA panel found that Salazar and Brown possessed and trafficked a banned performance-enhancing substance and administered or attempted to administer a prohibited method to multiple track and field athletes. The panel also found that both athlete support personnel committed tampering and complicity violations under Articles 2.5 and 2.9 of the World Anti-Doping Code.
The panel determined that Salazar committed the following violations of the Code:
Administration of a Prohibited Method (with respect to an infusion in excess of the applicable limit),
Tampering and/or attempted tampering with NOP athletes’ doping control process, and
Trafficking and/or Attempted Trafficking of testosterone.
The panel determined that Brown violated anti-doping rules by:
Tampering with L-carnitine records under WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Code Art. 2.5 (2009 & 2015), which carries a sanction of 2 years WADA Code Art. 10.3.1 (2009), and 4 years under WADA Code Art. 10.3.1 (2015).
Administration of an over-limit L-carnitine infusion under WADA Code Art. 2.8 (2009 & 2015), which carries a minimum sanction of 4 years up to a maximum lifetime ban under WADA Code Art. 10.3.2 (2009) and WADA Code Art. 10.3.3 (2015).
Complicity in Salazar’s trafficking of testosterone under WADA Code Art. 2.8 (2009) and WADA Code Art. 2.9 (2015). Under WADA Code Art. 10.3.2 (2009), a complicity violation carries a minimum sanction of 4 years up to a maximum lifetime ban. Under WADA Code Art. 10.3.4 (2015), a complicity violation carries a sanction of 2 to 4 years.
Testosterone is a Non-Specified substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the International Association of Athletics Federations Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List. Intravenous infusions of any substance in excess of the limits, regardless of whether the substance is prohibited, is a prohibited method under the rules.
USADA’s investigation yielded a wide range of evidence referenced in the hearing, including eye-witness proof, testimonies, contemporaneous emails, and patient records. Between the two cases, USADA relied on more than 2,000 exhibits, which the AAA heard along with the defendants’ cases. In all, the proceedings included 30 witnesses and 5,780 pages of transcripts.
Salazar and Brown’s periods of ineligibility began on September 30, 2019, the date the decisions were released.
Redacted versions of the arbitration decisions will be posted here once available.