June 13, 2015
Three Nike Oregon Project team members were competing at the adidas Grand Prix at New York City’s Ichahn Stadium. Matt Centrowiz was in the 800, Mary Cain was in the 1000 and Treniere Moser ran an impressive double, doing the 800 and coming back in the 1000 less than an hour later.
Centro never came through the mixed zone, but we took this opportunity to ask Moser and Cain about the allegations against Alberto Salazar, Galen Rupp and the NOP as a whole. We also heard some thoughts from 5000 winner Ben True on the subject.
Moser started off by saying, “I’m gonna be honest, it sucks.” She then pointed out that the allegations being made by the BBC seem to be in the period before and up to the 2012 London Olympics so she couldn’t comment on any of that. However, she staunchly defended the group and their integrity as far as the time from the fall of 2012 (when she joined) to the present is concerned.
“All I can speak for is my present time with the Oregon Project. I joined in the fall of 2012 and I haven’t seen any foul play or wrongdoing by Galen, Alberto or any member of the Oregon Project. I believe in a clean sport and I know me and my teammates practice a clean sport … as for me I have no TUEs, I’m always available for USADA and at this point I’m not on thyroid medication. All I can do is speak for myself, but I support my teammates. I support the Oregon Project. And all I can do is do my job and get ready for USAs. … Thank you for the people that do know us and support us and know that we’d never do anything wrong.”
We appreciated the comments by Moser and the fact that she was open to discussing the topic. She said exactly what you would want to hear from an athlete you wanted to believe is clean. She acknowledged the accusations, denied them and stated clearly that she is clean and not on any TUEs or thyroid medication. She didn’t use vague language, avoid the topic, or get offended and walk away. Obviously these statements are not proof of anything on their own, but if you’re a Moser fan wanting to believe in her, they can go a long way to assure you.
Mary Cain on the other hand, avoided the topic and gave a non-answer when questioned. She was first asked if Alberto Salazar was still her coach and she responded, “Yeah, of course.” Then when asked specifically about the BBC report she said, “Honestly, I’ve been here in New York and I’ve come to stay off of all track media and all social media.”
That’s all good and well, but you don’t have to be a prolific Twitter/Instagram user or message board rat to know what’s going on in the world, let alone your own training group. We hope that she and her parents have had conversations with Salazar, especially considering the troubling allegations about Galen Rupp taking testosterone as a 16-year-old. It’s probably safe to say this was her way of trying to politely say “no comment”.
We also wondered if Cain’s decision to go home to NY for the summer was related to the doping allegations and trying to distance herself from NOP. However, she says it was about getting a break after a long school year and spending some time at home with her family. She doesn’t know when she’ll go back to Portland, but says she’s definitely going back.
Since the original BBC story broke, many athletes have reacted to it through social media. Today, Ben True shared some of his thoughts on the allegations. Like many, he wasn’t shocked. “To be honest it’s nothing that surprising. It’s things that have been rumored for years. I commend Steve Magness and some of the others that came forward and started talking. I’m really interested to see what will come of it. If the allegations are true, then I definitely hope that very swift harsh punishments come about. It’s really unfortunate if those things are true. … I think it’s a disgrace.” After that True added that they are allegations “at the moment”, but gave a chuckle that said he probably believes them.
If the allegations end up being true, it would be particularly frustrating for someone like True who was 4th in the 10,000 and 5,000 at 2013 USAs, just missing a Worlds spot when Galen Rupp finished ahead of him in both races. Asked about that specifically though, True said you can’t dwell on which athletes on the starting line might be clean or dirty. You just have to focus on racing.