Alberto Salazar calls cheating accusations ‘demonstrably false’ in 11,000-word response

Alberto Salazar
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Nike Oregon Project head coach Alberto Salazar called allegations of cheating from his former athletes and staff “demonstrably false” after spending hours reviewing information from the past 15 years to write an 11,000-word response to BBC and ProPublica reports from June 3.

Salazar denied that he violated medical and anti-doping rules with his athletes.

“Some have tried to console me by saying public attacks like these are the price of success in today’s world,” Salazar wrote to conclude a two-part letter published on nikeoregonproject.com. “You win: people will try to tear you down. That’s not my world. That’s not the Oregon Project. Here, success is earned with talent, hard work, dedication and fair play…. and, that’s how it is going to stay. Let the haters hate; we’re going to keep winning through hard work, dedication and fair play.”

Salazar attached 30 documents — including copies of emails with medical and training information for his athletes — 15 days after he said he hoped to be afforded “a short time to show the accusers are knowingly making false statements. I will document and present the facts as quickly as I can,” according to the Guardian.

Salazar’s prized American runner, Olympic 10,000m silver medalist Galen Rupp, was one of the focuses of the BBC and ProPublica reports. Rupp has never failed a drug test.

Former Salazar assistant Steve Magness and former Nike Oregon Project runner Kara Goucher, a two-time U.S. Olympian, said they witnessed concerning medical or training practices with Rupp, a 29-year-old coached by Salazar since high school.

In the June 3 BBC TV report, a reporter told Goucher that Rupp was the most drug tested U.S. athlete.

“So was Lance Armstrong,” Goucher responded. “It doesn’t mean anything.”

In Wednesday’s response, Salazar said that Rupp provided the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) “with over 500 pages of medical records and documents regarding his asthma treatment and the medications he had taken” dating to May 2001.

USADA is investigating the allegations against Salazar, according to The Associated Press.

“Allegations that Galen takes asthma and thyroid medicine for competitive purposes are inaccurate and hurtful,” Salazar wrote. “Galen takes asthma medication so he can breathe normally – not so he can run better.

“All Oregon Project athletes are instructed to declare any and all supplements that they are currently taking on their USADA or IAAF Doping Control Official Record forms whenever they are tested. Neither USADA nor the IAAF has ever raised an issue with any of the supplements listed on an Oregon Project athlete’s declaration form.”

Rupp is scheduled to compete in the USA Track and Field Championships in the 5000m and 10,000m. His first race is the 10,000m on Thursday at 11:15 p.m. ET at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

USA Track and Field Championships TV schedule

Ironman Kona World Championships return for first time in three years, live on Peacock

Ironman Kona World Championship
Ironman
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The Ironman Kona World Championships return after a three-year hiatus with a new format, live on Peacock on Thursday and Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.

The Ironman, held annually in Hawaii since 1978, and in Kailua-Kona since 1981, was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world championships made a one-time-only stop in St. George, Utah, on May 7 to make up for the 2021 cancellation. The winners were Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, the Tokyo Olympic triathlon champion, and Swiss Daniela Ryf, who bagged her fifth Ironman world title.

Both are entered in Kailua-Kona, where the races are now split between two days — Thursday for the women and Saturday for the men.

An Ironman includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon — totaling 140.6 miles of racing. It takes top triathletes eight hours to complete. Very arguably, it crowns the world’s fittest man and woman.

WATCH LIVE: Ironman Kona, Thursday, 12 p.m. ET — STREAM LINK

Ryf, 35 and a 2008 and 2012 Olympian, can tie retired countrywoman Natascha Badmann for second place on the women’s list at six Ironman world titles. Only Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser has more with eight.

The field also includes German Anne Haug, the 2019 Kona champ and only woman other than Ryf to win since 2015. Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay, the Kona runner-up in 2017, 2018 and 2019, returns after missing the St. George event due to a stress fracture in her hip.

Blummenfelt, 28 and in his Kona debut, will try to become the youngest male champion in Kona since German Normann Stadler in 2005. His top challengers include countryman Gustav Iden, the two-time reigning Half Ironman world champion, and German Patrick Lange, the 2017 and 2018 Ironman Kona winner.

Also racing Saturday is Dallas Clark, a retired All-Pro NFL tight end with the Indianapolis Colts, and Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 champion who completed the 2011 Kona Ironman in 12 hours, 52 minutes, 40 seconds.

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Joan Benoit Samuelson, Olympic marathon champ in 1984, runs London Marathon at 65

Joan Benoit Samuelson
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Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first Olympic women’s marathon champion in 1984, ran her first 26.2-mile race in three years at Sunday’s London Marathon and won her age group.

Benoit Samuelson, 65, clocked 3 hours, 20 minutes, 20 seconds to top the women’s 65-69 age group by 7 minutes, 52 seconds. She took pleasure in being joined in the race by daughter Abby, who crossed in 2:58:19.

“She may have beaten me with my replacement knee, but everybody said I wouldn’t do it! I will never say never,” Benoit Samuelson said, according to race organizers. “I am a grandmother now to Charlotte, and it’s my goal to run 5K with her.”

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Benoit Samuelson raced the 1987 Boston Marathon while three months pregnant with Abby. Before that, she won the first Olympic women’s marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, plus the Boston Marathon in 1979 and 1983 and the Chicago Marathon in 1985.

Her personal best — 2:21:21 — still holds up. She ranks sixth in U.S. women’s history.

Benoit Samuelson plans to race the Tokyo Marathon to complete her set of doing all six annual World Marathon Majors. The others are Berlin, Boston, Chicago and New York City.

“I’m happy to finish this race and make it to Tokyo, but I did it today on a wing and a prayer,” she said, according to organizers. “I’m blessed to have longevity in this sport. It doesn’t owe me anything, but I feel I owe my sport.”

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