Alberto Salazar Addresses Leaked USADA Interim Report That Said It Was “Highly Likely” His Group Broke Anti-Doping Rules: “I Know That We Haven’t Broken Any Rules”

By Jonathan Gault
October 8, 2017

CHICAGO — While Galen Rupp‘s victory at the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon — and Jordan Hasay‘s 2:20:57 third-place finish — was, in many ways, Alberto Salazar‘s finest hour as a coach, not all fans of American distance running were celebrating this morning. Salazar has been at the center of controversy since ProPublica and the BBC published a story two years ago alleging that Salazar broke drug rules in his role as coach of the Nike Oregon Project, and earlier this year that controversy resurfaced when Flotrack published in May the interim version of a USADA report that was to be submitted to the Texas Medical Board in a case concerning Dr. Jeffrey Brown, who has worked with numerous NOP athletes.

The report contained allegations that, under the supervision of Salazar and Brown, it appeared “highly likely” that six NOP athletes had broken anti-doping rules by receiving infusions of L-carnitine (a legal substance) over the legal limit of 50 ml in a six-hour period, as well as levelling other claims about Salazar’s use and misuse of prescription drugs. USADA, which has been investigating Salazar for the past two years, has not released a final version of the report, and neither Salazar nor any of the athletes mentioned in the sport have been found guilty of doping or sanctioned by any governing body.

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At the time, in May, Salazar responded by providing a statement to The Oregonian in which he disputed the accuracy of the report and denied breaking rules.

“The Oregon Project will never permit doping and all Oregon Project athletes are required to comply with the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Code and IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations, the governing body of international track and field) Rules…Likewise, USADA’s conjecture regarding the L-carnitine injections is simply wrong. Evidence has been submitted to USADA disproving their unsupported assumptions –evidence USADA should have collected before issuing its incorrect suppositions to the [Texas Medical Board] as fact.”

Since then, Salazar has largely been out of the public eye. He did not travel to the World Championships this summer in London, but was in Chicago. After Salazar spoke about Rupp and Hasay’s victories, had the chance to ask him if he had read the report and had any further comments.

“I haven’t read it,” Salazar said. “I’ve read parts of it. I’ve been asked about it but, as I’ve said before, I know that we followed all the rules, we asked what all the rules were and I know that we haven’t broken any rules. And I’ve just gotta leave it there.”

When asked why USADA would have said it appeared “highly likely” that they had broken those rules, Salazar responded thusly:

“You know what? I’m not gonna get into that. You would have to ask them what it is that they saw that they think that.” then asked Salazar when he last communicated with USADA, at which point he concluded the interview (Rupp’s press conference was about to start).

“You know what? Today is about the race here. I’ll just leave it at that.”

The USADA investigation was also in the mind of some pros watching Chicago

Stephanice Bruce commented after Tim Hutchings noted that Rupp had changed his arm carriage prior to the race.

Talk about this article on our messageboard. MB: Salazar responds to leaked interim report that said it was “highly likely” his group broke anti-doping rules.

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