On November 7, in an opinion video and associated article printed by The New York Times, elite runner Mary Cain described how she was “emotionally and physically abused” throughout her time coaching with the Nike Oregon Project below Alberto Salazar.
Among Cain’s allegations: Nike had no licensed sports activities psychologist or nutritionist, Salazar was “constantly trying to get me to lose weight,” to hit 114 kilos, and he would weigh her in entrance of her teammates to disgrace her. At a 2015 observe meet, the place she ran poorly, he yelled at her in entrance of many observers and accused her of gaining 5 kilos earlier than the race.
Cain, now 23, stated Salazar wished to offer her contraception drugs and diuretics to shed weight. (Diuretics are banned below anti-doping code as a result of they can be utilized to masks the presence of different prohibited substances.) She stated she stopped menstruating for 3 years, an indication that her physique didn’t have sufficient estrogen to keep up her bone well being. She stated she broke 5 bones.
In the video, Cain stated that she began to have suicidal ideas and she started to chop herself. Even although she stated folks noticed her reduce herself, “nobody did anything.”
The video and accompanying article stated Salazar disputed a lot of Cain’s allegations with out going into element.
After the video appeared in the Times, Nike launched an announcement that learn, in half, that Cain had sought to rejoin the Oregon Project in April:
“These are deeply troubling allegations which have not been raised by Mary or her parents before. Mary was seeking to rejoin the Oregon Project and Alberto’s team as recently as April of this year and had not raised these concerns as part of that process. We take the allegations extremely seriously and will launch an immediate investigation to hear from former Oregon Project athletes. At Nike we seek to always put the athlete at the center of everything we do, and these allegations are completely inconsistent with our values.”
In an e mail to Runner’s World with its assertion, Nike didn’t supply any additional details about the investigation it’s conducting into Cain’s allegations. The firm additionally didn’t reply when requested if Salazar continues to be a Nike worker.
A November eight article in the Oregonian included particular statements from Salazar in which he denied shaming her about her weight. Salazar’s feedback learn, in half, “Mary’s father is a medical doctor, and both of her parents were deeply involved in her training, competition and health throughout the period she was coached by me.”
Salazar additionally launched a pleasant textual content message Cain despatched to him in April that stated, “I’m excited to be working together again.”
Also on November eight, Cain responded to Nike’s assertion with a clarifying assertion of her personal to the Times. The assertion learn, in half, “Last spring, I instructed Alberto I wished to work with him once more—solely him—as a result of once we let folks emotionally break us, we crave their approval greater than something.
“I used to be the sufferer of an abusive system, an abusive man. I used to be consistently laid low with the battle of desirous to be free from him and wanting to return to the best way issues was once, after I was his favourite.”
In the times for the reason that video appeared, runners and coaches in elite working have taken to social media to assist Cain and corroborate her accounts. Jonathan Marcus wrote on Twitter he was the director on the meet when Salazar was yelled at for gaining weight.
Amy Yoder Begley wrote on Twitter: “After placing 6th in the 10,000m at the 2011 USATF championships, I was kicked out of the Oregon Project. I was told I was too fat and ‘had the biggest butt on the starting line.’ This brings those painful memories back.”
Cam Levins, a Canadian marathoner who was a teammate of Cain’s, wrote on Twitter: “I knew that our coaching staff was obsessed with your weight loss, emphasizing it as if it were the single thing standing in the way of great performances. I knew because they spoke of it openly among other athletes.”
Salazar, who relies in Portland, Oregon, began advising Cain in October 2012, when she was nonetheless in highschool in Bronxville, New York. Under Salazar’s steerage, Cain made the U.S. group for the 2013 world championships in Moscow. She superior to the 1500-meter ultimate and completed ninth, turning into, at 17, the youngest individual ever to make a world ultimate in the 1500. In 2014, she gained the three,000 meters on the world junior championships. During this time, she set U.S. junior data in the 2 mile, the mile, the 1500 meters, and the 1,000 meters. Her mile file was four:24.11
Cain forewent her collegiate eligibility and moved to Portland for 10 months from August 2014 till May 2015, and throughout that point, her performances suffered. She then returned residence to New York however remained a member of the Nike Oregon Project. In 2016, she made the 1500-meter ultimate on the U.S. Olympic Trials, however she was 11th in the ultimate. Only the highest three finishers made Team USA for the Games in Rio.
Cain’s allegations are the newest in a string of unhealthy information for Salazar. On September 30, arbitrators suspended him from the game for 4 years for violating the anti-doping code. Salazar has maintained his innocence and stated he’ll enchantment. On October 11, Nike introduced it was shutting down the Oregon Project.
Cain stated in her most up-to-date assertion to the Times that “after the doping report dropped that led to his suspension, I felt this quick and sudden release. That helped me understand that this system is not O.K. That’s why I decided to speak up now.”