American track coach and former world-class long-distance runner Alberto Salazar has been handed a four-year ban for violating anti-doping rules. The case was pursued by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the American Arbitration Association (AAA) decided to ban Alberto Salazar along with endocrinologist Jeffrey Brown for four years for “orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct”. Salazar was working as head coach of the Nike Oregon Project (NOP) while Brown was a paid consultant for the NOP on performance enhancement when the case surfaced.
Alberto Salazar, who had trained four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah, was found guilty of trafficking testosterone, a banned performance-enhancing drug. According to the two independent three-member panels, Salazar violated three anti-doping codes. The panel found Salazar guilty of ‘Administration of a Prohibited Method’, ‘Tampering and/or attempted tampering with the doping control process’, and ‘Trafficking of testosterone through involvement in a testosterone testing program in violation of the rules’. Salazar and Brown’s periods of ban started on September 30, 2019, the date the decisions were released.
While Mo Farah had denied any wrongdoing, USADA Chief Executive Officer Travis T. Tygart praised the athletes who ‘exposed the truth’.
“The athletes in these cases found the courage to speak out and ultimately exposed the truth,” said Travis T. Tygart. “While acting in connection with the Nike Oregon Project, Mr. Salazar and Dr. Brown demonstrated that winning was more important than the health and wellbeing of the athletes they were sworn to protect,” he added.
According to USADA, it relied on more than 2,000 exhibits and the proceedings included 30 witnesses and 5,780 pages of transcripts.
In 2017, after USADA started investigating Salazar, the quadruple Olympic champion Mo Farah parted ways with his coach. Farah had posted a video on Twitter saying he wanted to move back to his home in London. “I really miss home ...I will no longer be coached by Alberto Salazar.” Salazar has also coached 2012 Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp. In 2012, Salazar, along with John Brant, published the autobiography 14 Minutes: A Running Legend's Life and Death and Life.