Salazar denies doping claims made by BBC
ALBERTO Salazar, famed coach of double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah, denied allegations made in a BBC documentary that he helped runners use banned substances, vowing in an open letter on Wednesday that "I will never permit doping".
The letter was posted on the Nike Oregon Project website on the eve of the United States Track and Field Championships, which is the US qualifying meet for the world championships in Beijing in August.
Salazar, 56, a three-time New York Marathon champion who also won the Boston Marathon and ran in the Olympics, coaches British 10,000m London Olympic champion Farah and runner-up Galen Rupp, with the latter seeking his seventh consecutive US 10,000m crown at the nationals yesterday.
A BBC documentary earlier this month - in collaboration with the ProPublica website - accused Salazar of violating anti-doping rules, with claims that he doped Rupp in 2002 with the anabolic steroid testosterone when Rupp was only 16.
"I will never permit doping," Salazar said. "I have not and will not condone any athlete I train using a banned substance and would never encourage any athlete to use a banned substance. We have worked very, very hard to achieve our successes and are proud of our accomplishments."
The report also claims he encouraged using prescription medications for thyroid and asthma for a competitive edge, and abuse of the therapeutic-use exemption rule where athletes can get approval to utilise otherwise-banned medications.
"The allegations in the BBC/ProPublica stories are demonstrably false," Salazar said. "I hereby demand the BBC and ProPublica immediately publish a retraction of their false statements.
"I am saddened that these false allegations have been allowed to run with little care for the carnage in their wake."
Salazar said Rupp has asthma and a thyroid condition, but called the notion that he uses medications for a competitive edge "inaccurate and hurtful".
"Galen has suffered severe allergies and breathing issues almost his entire life. Galen takes asthma medication so he can breathe normally, not so he can run better," Salazar said. "Galen has never taken a banned substance."
Later on Wednesday, the BBC defended its programme about Salazar. "We stand by our journalism and it is now for the relevant anti-doping authorities to investigate the allegations."