The International Olympic Committee (IOC) asked the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to provide details about the suspected top-class American athlete coach Alberto Salazar to use athletes to test some illegal substances.
Salazar – the coach of some of the world’s leading athletes, including Mo Farah, has been banned from practicing 4 years for violating doping regulations by the USADA.
USADA said Salazar was fined for arranging and facilitating the use of prohibited substances while working as a head coach for the Nike Oregon Project (NOP). NOP was built primarily to enhance endurance for American athletes. “The athletes really don’t know what they’re given, the dosage, whether the methods are banned or not”. They are simply sent to the doctor and say: “You have to listen to the doctor”, Mr. Travis Tygart – the head of USADA, said in a statement.
However, USADA did not punish any athlete who may have intentionally or unknowingly accepted Salazar’s doping use. However, the suspect that the athlete was used as a “white mouse” rocked the World Athletics Tournament in Qatar when two players from the project won the gold medal and raised concerns about the 2020 Olympic Games.
Reuters quoted the statement of IOC President Thomas Bach to reporters on Tuesday: “We will continue to monitor open-ended questions. The IOC will write to WADA in this regard. First of all is to see how many athletes have been investigated. Did all the investigated athletes practice at this center during that time? Does the report refer to the entire duration of the project or part of it? Are there any Olympic results directly or indirectly affected?”
A famous runner, Salazar has won the New York City marathon for three consecutive years since 1980. Salazar denies all the allegations and vows to appeal the USADA’s penalty.
IOC Bach said that athletes must adhere to the strict notion of liability, meaning that whether they know or not know about being banned, it has little impact on the potential sanctions.
USADA said Salazar sold the banned substance testosterone to enhance the performance of many athletes. After four years of investigation, USADA came to the conclusion that Mr. Salazar has also intervened or sought to intervene in the doping testing process for NOP athletes.
The USADA report also cited several emails showing that Nike Inc. CEO Mark Parker was aware of experiments involving AndroGel, a banned topical testosterone cream. However, Nike insists the company does not have any role in the management of competitive performance drugs. In a statement made on October 1, it was made clear that they did not tolerate the use of prohibited substances.