Alberto Salazar, one of the world’s most successful athletic coaches, has become the centre of doping allegations put forth by the BBC and ProPublica.
The accusations aired in last night’s BBC Panorama documentary ‘Catch Me If You Can’ claim that that Salazar, who has worked with Mo Farrah since 2011 and Galen Rupp since 2002, has been in violation of anti-doping rules by giving Galen Rupp testosterone and prednisone.
The allegations come from Steve Magness, who was previously selected by Salazar to work as his No 2 at the Oregon Project. Having left Salazar following the London 2012 Olympics, Salazar took his allegations in 2012 to the USADA along with, it is claimed, at least half a dozen other former Oregon Project athletes.
39-year-old Steve Magness told the BBC that he had seen the blood results of Rupp in 2011 which showed that he was using testorone medication, he said:
“Under one of Galen’s [tests] it had ‘currently on testosterone and prednisone medication’ and when I saw that, I kind of jumped backwards. I was like, wait a minute, like on testosterone medication?
Testosterone is obviously banned and I mean I knew that, everybody knew that. When I looked a little further I saw it was all the way back in high school and that was incredibly shocking.”
The allegation, if confirmed true, suggest that ant-doping violations may have begun with Galen Rupp in 2002, when Rupp was just 16-years-old. If these reports are confirmed, Salazar would be guilty of doping a minor. Under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) current’s guidelines that would find the 56-year-old liable to receive a lifetime ban.
Steve Magness, who also took photographic evidence of the blood tests, described the moment where believes he discovered the alleged doping:
“When I saw that, I kind of jumped backwards,”
“Testosterone is obviously banned… everybody knew that. When I looked a little further I saw it was all the way back in high school – and that was incredibly shocking.”
After initially declining to comment, both Salazar and Rupp respectively have gone on to deny the allegations.
Alberto Salazar’s statment reads:
“I believe in a clean sport and hard work, and so do my athletes. Apparently that is not interesting enough for some. I am very disappointed that the BBC and ProPublica and their ‘reporters’ have allowed themselves to be used by individuals with agendas and have engaged in such inaccurate and unfounded journalism. Rather than present the facts, they opted for sensationalism and innuendo. It is particularly sad that they have attacked Galen and his excellent reputation, which he has earned through years of hard work.”
Rupp’s statement reads:
“I am very disappointed in the BBC and ProPublica. I am dedicated to clean sport and have worked extemely hard for every accomplishment in my running career. I expressly told these reporters that these allegations were not true and their sources admit they have no evidence, yet they print “suspicions” attacking me and sullying my reputation. That is inexcusable, irresponsible journalism.”
Mo Farrah, who has not been accused of having broken any rules when approached by the BBC was quick to defend Salazar and the Oregon Project, he said:
“I have not taken any banned substances and Alberto has never suggested that I take a banned substance.”
“From my experience, Alberto and the Oregon Project have always strictly followed Wada rules and if there is ever a question seek guidance from Usada to ensure they are correctly interpreting Wada’s rules.”
The Panorama documentary ‘Catch Me If You Can’ which aired last night is available now on BBC iPlayer