Shelby Houlihan Issues Statement Regarding Gabriela DeBues-Stafford Leaving The Bowerman Track Club

“I never wanted to have a negative impact on anyone in my decision to continue training and it hurts that I’m finding out that I did.”

April 13, 2022

On Tuesday evening, received the following statement from Shelby Houlihan regarding the departure of Canadian star Gabriela DeBues-Stafford from the Bowerman Track Club. DeBues-Stafford told LetsRun on Monday that a lack of clarity surrounding Houlihan’s ongoing involvement with BTC while Houlihan serves her four-year suspension was “the critical reason” for her departure from the team.

Houlihan in 2020 (Courtesy Talbot Cox)

“I never knew of her concerns and struggles until finding out about all of this through her announcement. Having to find out about it and deal with it through such a public manner has been really hurtful and frustrating. I know her choosing not to come to me to discuss it was out of kindness and wanting to protect me and my mental health but I wish I would have been given the opportunity to have those conversations with her regarding her concerns to see if I could have cleared anything up or eased the situation for her in any way. I never wanted to have a negative impact on anyone in my decision to continue training and it hurts that I’m finding out that I did.

“Running and working out has always been a source of joy and happiness for me as well as a coping mechanism. My legal team and I have been very deliberate and intentional in contacting the AIU and other governing bodies to figure out how I can continue to run and train for my own mental health in a way that is also abiding by and respecting the rules put in place. I care about all of the athletes and staff on BTC and I was always considering them with every decision I made. I realize now that I should have been more communicative in those decisions.
“I do wish Gabriela the best with her transition and moving forward. I hope she found a training environment that’s positive and brings her happiness.
“As for my appeal, the status hasn’t changed and I am still waiting on it. I’m still running and training because it’s what makes me happy but I’m also continuing to stay hopeful in clearing my name and I’m trying to trust that the truth will win in the end.
“Training and having to tackle workouts alone has at times been very difficult and challenging for me, mostly mentally and emotionally. It’s been a learning curve in establishing a new sense of normal but overall, training is going well.”

Talk about Gabriela DeBues-Stafford‘s BTC departure on our messageboard. MB: GDS has left BTC, cites Houlihan explicitly.

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