American long-distance runner @Kara Goucher has revealed that she left the Nike Oregon Project in 2011 after spending seven years because of coach Alberto Salazar’s win-at-all-costs attitude, his willingness to ignore anti-doping rules, his attitude towards therapeutic use exemptions, and other actions that put her health at risk.
Kara Goucher, the former University of Colorado distance star, and her husband, Adam, also a former CU star and Oregon Project member, were among many former athletes and coaches who shared their concerns with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. In 2014, Goucher returned to Boulder to resume training with Mark Wetmore, the longtime coach at CU, and Heather Burroughs.
Pro Publica cited Kara Goucher as saying that she was afraid to say anything. Goucher added she was tired of saying that she is off the Oregon Project as she had a baby and she longer fits in. Goucher disclosed that Salazar asked her to take Cytomel — a synthetic thyroid hormone — to lose pregnancy weight even though she did not have a prescription. She also remarked that he own endocrinologist told her expressly not to take Cytomel as she was already taking another thyroid hormone, Levoxyl, for the treatment of a thyroid problem caused by Hashimoto’s disease. Goucher, the 10,000 meters bronze medalist at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics, said Alberto Salazar asked her to get the drug from Galen Rupp, the silver medalist in the 10,000 meters at the London Olympics and one of the project’s longtime runners.
Salazar defended the Nike Oregon project and his athletes by saying the Oregon Project athletes are clean. The coach added when Galen, Dathan Ritzenhein or Mo Farah step on to the start line at the Olympics, world championships or any other competition around the world, you can root for them with confidence.
The Gouchers both went to USADA six months after the London Olympics in 2012 with their complaints.
Annie Skinner, a spokeswoman for USADA, said the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency takes all reports of doping seriously and we aggressively follow up on every report to fulfill our oath to protect clean athletes and the integrity of competition. Skinner added we follow the evidence and in circumstances where the process results in credible evidence of doping we bring cases through the applicable legal process. The USADA spokeswoman added it is important to re-emphasize USADA’s position that all athletes are innocent until and unless proven otherwise through the established legal process and also commented that attempts to sensationalize or exploit either the process or the athletes are a disservice to fair play, due process, and to those who love clean sport.
It was noted by The Pro Publica report that Adam and Kara Goucher did not have direct evidence of testosterone use or blood doping. Former coach Steve Magness revealed Salazar had coached Galen Rupp on how to get saline drips via intravenous (IV) administration that by themselves are not illegal but restricted by the World Anti-Doping Agency as athletes have used the technique to evade blood doping.
Kara is now sponsored by multiple companies including Nuun, Strava, Oiselle, Skechers, and Soleus.