September 30, 2022

Nike Oregon Project Scandal – Update

It has almost been two weeks now since the BBC Panorama program which outlined disturbing details on possible doping techniques and immoral methods being practised by Alberto Salazar. In my previous post, I outlined all which was known so far on what the allegations were, who was involved and what the possible results may be for those such as Mo Farah who is so heavily involved with the Oregon Project.

However, over these past few weeks, much more than was first documented has been found out, along with retaliation to the comments made against the Salazar camp, with some potentially encouraging news to support Mo Farah’s case that there has been no evidence to the rest of the project that any illegal practises have been taking place.

The retaliation to the claims came very quickly and very strongly in some cases. Specifically from Matthew Centrowitz, NOP member and 1500m specialist – he also ran 1:44 in the New York Diamond league last week – who would, as all other members deny any ongoings with drug use within the camp, long with commenting on those who agree with the allegations. This was demonstrated through remarks made on Twitter shown here with Nick Willis. Obviously, this would suggest that Centro disagrees with all the allegations, but once more, this is the clear response he would give, to attempt to create a lull over any more talk against himself.

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 17.17.18

Centrowitz responds to the allegations along with exchange with Nick Willis
Centrowitz responds to the allegations along with exchange with Nick Willis

As previously stated in my other post, Mo Farah clearly wants answers over the stories, however, it seems that for now he has got enough to secure his future with the camp for the coming year. This was corroborated by the UKA investigation – which is still ongoing – that stated that the facility and conditions which Farah is training under is deemed safe and should be acceptable for Farah to sustain training in Portland. Yet it must still be made clear that there are still long and complex investigations continuing by the UK governing body who are to still use Salazar as an unpaid consultant to distance running within the elite distance set up.

Some of the first interviews with any of the actual members themselves have only just been surfacing. However, these are encouraging once more to state that there hasn’t been any evidence to them (notably Cam Levins) that suggests there has been doping going on. Obviously, this is what you’d expect them to say when confronted on the situation, however from what I have seen I believe what Levins has to say in his interview with Flotrack. Although it mat be said that he could have bee coached to say these answers, they seem to me as very sincere and real to his beliefs.

Watch more videos on Flotrack

I also think that if it were true that there were doping and immoral techniques being used within the camp that it would have been spoken of in the very same way as it was by the Groucher’s. From much of what has been said, it seems that the allegations are confined to just Galen and Alberto, not any of the other members. This was a point made very clear by the BBC documentary when released but taken rather dubiously, with an incline that if one member was using these drugs, then the others must be involved too. Albeit the likely case, it does look on the face of it to be a very interesting case of Salazar effectively taking Rupp aside from the rest of the group, almost using him to attempt to cheat the system as may be the case in 2002 when evidence suggests he was on Testosterone.

The final thing which must be considered at this stage is the possible results and consequences for Rupp and Salazar if found guilty. It was originally believed when looking at the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) rules that Salazar would be subject to a lifetime ban as a result of doping a athlete who was under the age of 18. However, it seems to be the case that due to this case taking place over 10 years ago, Salazar will be longer viable to this charge as a result, showing a potentially unjust outcome. Although this is the case, there are also FBI investigations said to be underway to investigate the use and hold upon these drugs. Along with this, Salazar is liable for up to a 4 year ban for the manipulation of the TUE system whereby himelf and Galen were accused by Groucher of attempting to get access to an IV drip unjustifiably.

Salazar and Rupp remain in the firing line
Salazar and Rupp remain in the firing line

All of what has been said as of yet is still in the early stages with no one being proved guilty of any wrongdoing, with major championships coming up for the runners themselves, it would be a welcome rest in all the media attention which the behind the scenes action takes place, allowing them to focus purely on their running.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.