The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld Salazar’s 4-year doping ban
Circuit coach Alberto Salazar has received no exemption from the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which has upheld his four-year ban for a series of doping-related violations that US regulators have long been pursuing.
A person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the ban on Salazar and endocrinologist Jeffrey Brown, first passed in 2019, has been upheld. The person did not wish to be identified before the Court of Arbitration for Sport published the decision of its three judges.
It came after Thursday from the court in Switzerland, which confirmed that its committee had rejected two appeals – the joint appeal by Salazar and Brown to their four-year bans and the US Anti-Doping Agency’s request for longer sanctions.
The judges asserted that Salazar violated anti-doping rules and was banned in line with current guidance, but they were unaffected by how the case was handled over several years.
“The manner in which the case was managed by USADA and that the evidence presented, and in some cases, was subsequently abandoned, appeared disproportionate and excessive when compared to the gravity and consequences (of the violations) that were demonstrated,” the court said in a statement.
Salazar is a former marathon champion who, as a coach for the Nike Oregon Project, has coached a long list of tournament distance runners including Mo Farah, Galen Rupp and, for a time, Kara Goucher. None of his former runners have been charged with doping violations.
After receiving information from Goucher and others, USAID investigated Salazar and the running team for nearly six years before issuing sanctions in 2019.
Among Salazar’s practices, according to USAID investigations, is sending athletes to Brown’s office to provide them with a supplement called L-carnitine in doses that exceed permissible limits; The trainer also conducted experiments on his sons using testosterone gels.
Salazar declared that he had done nothing wrong. He did not immediately respond to an email sent by The Associated Press late Wednesday night.
Endorsing the doping ban may have no practical effect on the 63-year-old coach, who is challenging a life ban issued earlier this summer by the US Center for Safe Sports for sexual and emotional misconduct.
In 2019, a few runners, including Goucher, Mary Kane and Amy Yoder Begley, revealed they had been psychologically and physically abused while working with Salazar as part of the NOP, which was dissolved shortly after the doping ban was revealed.
The arbitrators who decided the case in USADA’s favor during the appeal that led to the 2019 ruling said that in addition to L-carnitine injections, there are “many other examples of this type of ‘medical’ trend in the record of this case.” The directions included calcium supplements, anti-inflammatories, sleep medication, and a constant push for thyroid medications often used to increase metabolism and control weight.
The CAS and SafeSport decisions seemed to mark a career termination for Salazar, who won four major marathon titles in New York and Boston in the early 1980s and then went on to found the NOP, which was one of the world’s most popular track clubs. Almost two decades.
Among the Olympic champions trained at the NOP is Sivan Hasan, who won the women’s 5,000 and 10,000 meters at the Tokyo Olympics, and four-time gold medalist Farah – who completed the men’s 5000-10000 double in London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016 – and Matthew Centrowitz Jr., who won the 1,500 men’s title in Rio.
The CAS judges reiterated that none of Salazar’s breaches of the rules they saw “directly affected sporting competition”.
“(T) No evidence has been brought before the Court of Arbitration for Sport with respect to any impact on athletes competing at an elite level within the NOP,” the court said.
AP sports writer Graham Dunbar in Geneva contributed to this report
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