Eugene - Alberto Salazar, famed coach of double Olympic and world champion
Mo Farah, denied allegations made in a BBC documentary that he helped runners
use banned substances, vowing in an open letter on Wednesday that "I will
never permit doping."
The letter was posted on the Nike Oregon Project website on the eve of the
US Track and Field Championships in Eugene, near the group's Portland base. The
event is the US qualifying meet for the world championships at Beijing in
Salazar, the Cuban-born 56-year-old American, a three-time New York Marathon
champion who also won the Boston Marathon and ran in the Olympics, coaches
British 10 000m London Olympic champion Farah and runner-up Galen Rupp, with
the latter seeking his seventh consecutive US 10 000 crown on Thursday at the
A BBC documentary earlier this month in collaboration with the ProPublica
website accused Salazar of violating anti-doping rules, with claims Salazar
doped Rupp in 2002 with the anabolic steroid testosterone when Rupp was only
"I will never permit doping," Salazar said. "I have not and
will not condone any athlete I train using a banned substance and would never
encourage any athlete to use a banned substance. We have worked very, very hard
to achieve our successes and are proud of our accomplishments."
The report also says Salazar encouraged using prescription medications for
thyroid and asthma that were not needed for a competitive edge and abuse of the
therapeutic use exemption rule where athletes can get approval to utilize
otherwise banned medications.
"The allegations in the BBC/ProPublica stories are demonstrably
false," Salazar said. "I hereby demand the BBC and ProPublica
immediately publish a retraction of their false statements.
"I am saddened that these false allegations have been allowed to run
with little care for the carnage in their wake."
Salazar, who has coached Rupp for 14 years, said the US runner suffers with
asthma and a thyroid condition but called the notion that he uses medications
for a competitive edge "inaccurate and hurtful."
"Galen has suffered severe allergies and breathing issues almost his
entire life. Galen takes asthma medication so he can breathe normally, not so
he can run better," Salazar said. "Galen has never taken a banned
Answering the call for a detailed response to the allegations, Salazar also
denied improper use of the therapeutic medical exemptions involving Rupp or any
other athlete and said he told the BBC and website reporters as much.
"Unfortunately, Galen and I were the ones these 'reporters' decided to
damn with their 'publish at all costs' philosophy," Salazar said.
"It is our reputations they have harmed. Innocent athletes' careers
tarnished with nothing but innuendo, hearsay and rumour."
Later Wednesday, the BBC defended its programme about Salazar.
"We are confident in our programme and that it was right to air the
allegations of the witnesses who appeared on it," said a statement on the
"We stand by our journalism and it is now for the relevant anti-doping
authorities to investigate the allegations.
"The detailed allegations were put to Salazar four weeks before the programme
aired giving him the opportunity to address them in full.
"The BBC has also invited Alberto Salazar to be interviewed about the
allegations, an offer which still stands. Almost two months after Salazar was
first made aware of the allegations, we welcome his more detailed