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ProPublica Reporter Stands By Doping Claims Against Nike Oregon Project


Alberto Salazar, Galen Rupp's coach, yells at Rupp during the men's 5,000-meter race at Hayward Field on May 29, 2015.

Alberto Salazar, Galen Rupp’s coach, yells at Rupp during the men’s 5,000-meter race at Hayward Field on May 29, 2015.

Alan Sylvestre/OPB

The investigative news outlet ProPublica rocked the running world yesterday.

It published an article with allegations that legendary, Oregon-based coach Alberto Salazar has violated medical and anti-doping rules. Salazar is head coach at the Nike Oregon Project.

He trains some of the best runners in the world, including Galen Rupp, an Olympic silver medalist and Portland native.

David Epstein, who wrote the article for ProPublica, recounted a story told to him by Steve Magness, former assistant coach at the Nike Oregon Project.

“Steve flies to Dusseldorf…meets Galen Rupp who’s not feeling well. So Steve calls Alberto Salazar who says ‘expect a package.’ Steve gets this package a day later… and it has a paperback thriller novel inside…the book was hollowed out and there were two pills taped inside.”

Rupp said in a statement Wednesday that the allegations are untrue. Salazar also issued a statement, saying he believes in a clean sport.  

Epstein also recounted the story of former Nike athlete Kara Goucher. She said Salazar gave her a bottle of thyroid hormone, that she didn’t take. It was labeled cytomel, a drug she wasn’t prescribed.

“That’s illegal, inside or outside the sport,” said Epstein.

Think Out Loud reached out to both Nike and Salazar for comment, but hasn’t heard back.

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