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Track Coach Salazar Denies Claims he Broke Anti-Doping Rules

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In 2015, former distance runner Alberto Salazar yells out lap times to distance runner Mo Farah, from Britain, during the 10,000-meter race in the Prefontaine Classic track and field meet. Photo: DON RYAN/AP

Alberto Salazar has rebuffed claims that he may have broken anti-doping rules to boost the performance of some of his athletes following the leaking of a United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) report.

The document obtained by The Sunday Times alleges the American head coach of the controversial Nike Oregon Project gave Sir Mo Farah and other athletes potentially harmful legal prescription drugs when they had no medical need.

Dated March 2016, the report was passed to the newspaper by Russian hacking group Fancy Bears.

In a statement released last night, Salazar denied the claims by USADA and maintained his stance against doping in sport.

“I believe in a clean sport, ” he said.

“I do not use supplements that are banned.

“I have clearly and repeatedly refuted allegations directed against me and the Oregon Project.

“The Oregon Project will never permit doping and all Oregon Project athletes are required to comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) rules.”

The report also claims that Salazar used a banned method of infusing a supplement called L-carnitine, the effects of which he reportedly boasted about to seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong before he was exposed as a drugs cheat.

Although L-carnitine is not a banned substance, infusions of more than 50 millimeters within a six-hour time frame are prohibited.

According to The Sunday Times, the document states USADA has “substantial and compelling” evidence that Salazar and Houston endocrinologist Jeffrey Brown “conspired to collude together” to use prescription medications to boost performance.

Brown’s lawyers have denied the charges and said the use of L-carnitine was approved by USADA.

The Sunday Times story does not state whether any of the report’s stated conclusions are out of date.

Responding to these claims, Salazar said any use of L-carnitine is done “within WADA guidelines.”

“In this case, to ensure my interpretation of WADA rules was correct, I also communicated in writing with USADA in advance of the use and administration of L-carnitine with Oregon Project athletes,” he said.

“I have voluntarily cooperated with USADA for years and met with them more than a year ago.

“The leaking of information and the litigation of false allegations in the press is disturbing, desperate and a denial of due process.

“I look forward to this unfair and protracted process reaching the conclusion I know to be true.”

Sir Mo, who won 5,000 and 10,000 meter gold at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games, said in a statement on his Facebook page that he has “never broken the rules in regards to substances, methods or dosages.”

“It is upsetting that some parts of the media, despite the clear facts, continue to try to associate me with allegations of drug misuse,” the statement read.

“I’m unclear as to The Sunday Times‘s motivations towards me but I do understand that using my name and profile makes the story more interesting, but it’s entirely unfair to make assertions when it is clear from their own statements that I have done nothing wrong.

“As I’ve said many times before, we all should do everything we can to have a clean sport and it is entirely right that anyone who breaks the rules should be punished.

“However, this should be done through proper process and if USADA or any other anti-doping body has evidence of wrongdoing, they should publish it and take action rather than allow the media to be judge and jury.”

Salazar has been under investigation since a BBC Panorama program made allegations about drugs use at his United States training base.

It was claimed that London 2012 Olympic 10,000m silver medalist Galen Rupp was given the banned anabolic steroid testosterone in 2002, when he was 16-years-old.

In June 2015, Salazar released a 12,000-word open letter providing a detailed rebuttal of the allegations that Rupp has ever taken a banned substance.

Rupp has also denied the claims.

By Max Winters

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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