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U.S. Anti-Doping Agency bars prominent running coach, Nike adviser for 4 years

By
Clyde Hughes
British runner Mo Farah celebrates winning the Men's 10,000-meter race at the Summer Olympic Games in London, Great Britain, on August 4, 2012. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI
British runner Mo Farah celebrates winning the Men's 10,000-meter race at the Summer Olympic Games in London, Great Britain, on August 4, 2012. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has banned from competition renowned track and field coach Alberto Salazar and Nike consultant Jeffrey Brown, for four years, for enabling unlawful doping.

The USADA said the pair orchestrated and facilitated "prohibited doping conduct while acting, respectively, as head coach of the Nike Oregon Project and as a paid consultant for the NOP on performance enhancement and as physician for numerous athletes in the NOP."

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Salazar, who was forced to leave the World Athletics Championship in Doha, Qatar, is perhaps best known for coaching British world champion distance runner Mo Farah to four Olympic gold medals in 2012 and 2016.

USADA said two independent three-member panels of the American Arbitration Association both favored the four-year ban. CEO Travis Tygart credited whistle-blowers for tipping the agency off to the banned conduct.

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"The athletes in these cases found the courage to speak out and ultimately exposed the truth," Tygart said in a statement Monday. "While acting in connection with the Nike Oregon Project, Mr. Salazar and Dr. Brown demonstrated that winning was more important than the health and well-being of the athletes they were sworn to protect."

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The panel ruled that Salazar administered a prohibited method, tampered or attempted to tamper with the doping control process, and trafficked testosterone through involvement in a testing program. Brown, USADA said, tampered with patient records, administered a substance beyond its limit and was complicit in Salazar's trafficking.

"[They] communicated repeatedly about the athletes of the NOP's performance and medical conditions, exchanging information without any apparent formal authorization by the athletes at the NOP or distinction between Dr. Brown's role as an athlete's physician and NOP consultant," the agency said.

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"[They] shared information with the aim of improving the athletes' performance via medical intervention, with a particular interest in increasing testosterone levels."

Salazar won the New York Marathon three times and the Boston Marathon once before he turned to coaching.

USADA said the pair's four-year bans began with the ruling Monday.

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