1 Oct 2019

Top athletics coach banned for four years

5:37 pm on 1 October 2019

Alberto Salazar, who has coached some of the world's top distance runners, including British Olympian track champion Mo Farah, has been banned for four years for doping violations.

Nike running coach Alberto Salazar.

Alberto Salazar Photo: AFP

The United States Anti Doping Agency says the punishment is for "orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct" as head coach of the Nike Oregan Project, a camp designed primarily to develop US endurance athletes.

Salazar, who also coached American Olympian Matthew Centrowitz among other top distance runners, trafficked banned performance-enhancing substance testosterone to multiple athletes, says USADA.

Salazar also tampered or attempted to tamper with the doping control process, the agency said after concluding its four-year investigation.

None of the athletes Salazar has worked with were mentioned in the report.

Salazar stopped coaching Farah in 2017 when the runner decided to move back to England.

Farah said at the time that the doping investigation was not the reason they parted ways.

Mo Farah of Great Britain celebrates after a
10000m final win at a Moscow meet in 2013.

Mo Farah Photo: Photosport

"The athletes in these cases found the courage to speak out and ultimately exposed the truth," Travis Tygart, USADA chief executive officer, said in a statement.

"While acting in connection with the Nike Oregon Project, Mr. Salazar... demonstrated that winning was more important than the health and wellbeing of the athletes they were sworn to protect."

Salazar, 61, was a celebrated distance runner, winning three consecutive New York City marathons starting in 1980.

Nike funds NOP, under a $US460 million 26-year sponsorship deal with US Track and Field.