LOS ANGELES – Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar has denied allegations made in a 2016 U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report, portions of which were revealed in a New York Times story last weekend.
Salazar made his response in an email late Wednesday night to The Oregonian newspaper about the USADA report prepared in response to a subpoena from a Texas medical board, saying he never used medications improperly or concealed what certain medications were doing to athletes.
“The Oregon Project and its athletes have nothing to hide and are hiding nothing,” Salazar wrote to the newspaper.
“As I have noted repeatedly, the successes my athletes have achieved are through hard work and dedication. I believe in a clean sport and a methodical, dedicated, approach to training. The Oregon Project will never permit doping and all Oregon Project athletes are required to comply with the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Code and IAAF rules.”
USADA is investigating Salazar and Jeffrey Brown, a Texas endocrinologist who worked with the Oregon Project. Salazar says he has cooperated with investigators and answered questions under oath.
“I’ve done more than any coach to continuously disprove false allegations where no violation has occurred,” wrote Salazar. “I fully cooperated, voluntarily answered USADA’s questions under oath and provided thousands of documents.”
The USADA report alleges Salazar and Brown broke or skirted some anti-doping rules by using medications in unintended ways and that Salazar had two prescriptions from different physicians for testosterone at the same time.
Salazar has said he has personal uses for testosterone, which is a banned performance-enhancing drug if used by athletes without a therapeutic use exemption.
“I never used testosterone when I was competing, I have never had ‘dual’ testosterone prescriptions and I have never rubbed testosterone on an athlete. The baseless speculation by USADA to the contrary is simply wrong,” Salazar wrote.
The report also said former Oregon Project runner Dathan Ritzenhein probably received 2011 infusions of L-carnitine, a non-banned performance booster, beyond the legal dosage limits of 50 mililiters in six hours.
“USADA’s conjecture regarding the L-carnitine injections is simply wrong,” Salazar wrote. “Evidence has been submitted to USADA disproving their unsupported assumptions — evidence USADA should have collected before issuing its incorrect suppositions to the (Texas medical board) as fact.”
Salazar said athlete medical privacy issues were violated by the revelation of the report.
“I find it particularly disturbing that athletes’ personal medical records are being aired publicly,” Salazar said. “There is no excuse for it. USADA has failed these innocent athletes.”