World
Elite Runner Had Qualms When Alberto Salazar Told Her to Use Asthma Drug for Performance
Elite distance runner Lauren Fleshman says that Salazar helped her get treatment for asthma, but she became squeamish when he suggested that she use medication in a different manner than the doctor instructed
 
Over the past two weeks, ProPublica and the BBC have reported allegations from professional runners and their support staff that iconic coach Alberto Salazar — head of the Nike Oregon Project and coach of the 10K gold and silver medalists in the last Olympics — violated anti-doping and prescription drug regulations. Salazar has denied the allegations. 
 
Elite distance runner Lauren Fleshman says that Salazar helped her get treatment for asthma, but she became squeamish when he suggested that she use medication in a different manner than the doctor instructed. Fleshman, 33, won five NCAA titles while at Stanford University, and won U.S. titles in the 5K in 2006 and 2010. She is a prominent figure in American running, not only by virtue of her on-track accomplishments, but also because she coaches, writes "The Fast Life" column for Runner's World, is active on social media, and co-founded two businesses related to training and health. 
 
Fleshman was previously part of a Nike-sponsored team, but was never coached by Salazar. She spoke with ProPublica reporter David Epstein about her experience seeking medical help from Salazar.This conversation has been edited for length and clarity. (Listen to the full interview below or on Soundcloud.)
 
Alberto Salazar has never coached you, but you did go to him for some medical help. Can you tell us what it was?
 
In 2005, I started having worse symptoms of exercise-induced asthma. I had gone to an allergy and asthma doctor on my own, and I got tested after the season was over in 2004 and didn't fail the asthma test. The environmental triggers [like pollen] weren't there. [The doctor] was like, sorry, you don't have asthma, you can't get a prescription.
 
Alberto set up an appointment in Portland, during allergy season, with a doctor who had seen many other runners. He had a specific protocol ... you would go to the local track and run around the track, work yourself up to having an asthma attack and then run down the street, up 12 flights of stairs to the office and they would be waiting to test you. So that's what I did and I failed the test, and the doctor prescribed Advair for during the racing season when pollen counts were the highest, and albuterol, which is a rescue inhaler.
 
Alberto was actually really great; he was instrumental in helping me get the appointment, taking me to the appointment ... I was a Nike athlete; I wasn't his athlete, but I was a Nike athlete, and to him that was enough Continue Reading…
 
Courtesy: ProPublica.org

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Is Fixing Blame, A Game?
If there is a malady, there must be a remedy. So who pays?
 
The European nations have a rich history of ships and sea-faring. The Vikings, the Norsemen, the Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Columbus and the English; boats are an integral part of life. So when one ship rams another, it’s like an Ambassador crossing swords with a BMW. Of course, two Altos can also start a war. But ships are more sacrosanct. This time, we go to Denmark and talk of boats, gearboxes, hosepipes, coupling rings and maintenance, all dovetailing into consumer protection.
 
A bit of tech-info first. Boats are steered by rudders that flap at the rear. In large ships, the rudder is moved by a gearbox, because the strain cannot be overcome by human effort. In still larger vessels, the gearbox itself needs additional help. This assistance comes from a hydraulic system, usually based on oil at a pressure. Now, think of power steering. Also think of steering failure—a car in motion and unable to respond to steering. 
 
This is what happened in the port of Thyboron. Libas, a trawling vessel was in port; stationary. Lykke Hametner, a fishing boat, became rudderless, wayward and rammed into Libas. The gearbox had failed! The hosepipe had worked loose; the connecting ring had malfunctioned. It was also determined that the part that couples the gearbox to the hosepipe was too small in size and that was the reason for the failure.
 
You be the judge. Who would you hold responsible? Lykke Hametner, the gearbox manufacturer, the agent supplying the gearbox, the master of Lykke Hametner, the installing workshop or maybe even the Libas? Remember our oft-repeated phrase... If there is a malady, there must be a remedy. So who pays?
 
The owners of the Libas and their insurance company sued. The matter was subjected to legal proceedings. As is the case every time, finger-pointing started. It was the judge’s turn to bell the cat.
 
The court held, “It has not been proven that any of the shipyard’s employees have acted negligently in connection with the installation of the gearbox, however, the court finds that the shipyard, as a professional distributor of the gearbox, is responsible vis-à-vis the claimants for the manufacturing defects for which the gearbox manufacturer is liable.”
 
In other words, the installing shipyard as well as the manufacturer are liable to make good the damages to the Libas.
 
The reasons for the order are informative and instructive. First, the nature of damages and the cause. Lykke Hametner was uncontrollable. Was it the fault of the captain? Or the fault of the crew? The gearbox itself had not failed, as properly held by the manufacturer. It was the coupling that had allowed the hosepipe to slip away. Was it then the responsibility of the installing party, the shipyard?
 
The court zeroed in on the coupling. Since the gearbox was not substandard, the coupling was the culprit. It was supplied by the gearbox manufacturer and fitted by the shipyard. Duty of care, in supply and installation, was necessary. 
 
The coupling is a small component; but, as in many cases, it’s the loose screw that causes the million-dollar equipment to fail. The Challenger spacecraft exploded and killed its crew due to the hardening of a rubber ring. The Apollo 13 lunar mission failed because of a switch. As did the first F-1-type race-car at Indianapolis; for the breakdown of a six-dollar bearing. For the want of a nail, a kingdom…! 
 
The court has to go into the merits of the claim and the defence. In the matter of the colliding boats, it did. The connection was not strong enough. Manufacturer and installer to blame. 
 
What does it teach us? Keep all data intact. Check on new and repaired equipment. Servicing is not for the uninitiated. In this case, no lives were lost; but a simple malfunction can lead to another disaster. And, if you have to go to court, nothing works in your favour like documentary evidence. Preserve it.
 

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US Fed Reserve signals rate hike in September
The Federal Reserve, America's central bank, has decided not to raise interest rates in June, but signalled that the long-awaited rate hike could come in September as the economic activity picks up.
 
"The committee expects that, with appropriate policy accommodation, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace," the bank known as the Fed said after a two-day policy meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee.
 
But the committee lowered its projections for economic growth significantly. In March, committee members projected 2015 growth would be between 2.3 percent and 2.7 percent.
 
"When the committee decides to begin to remove policy accommodation, it will take a balanced approach consistent with its longer-run goals of maximum employment and inflation of 2 percent," it said.
 
Fed "currently anticipates that, even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the committee views as normal in the longer run," the statement added.
 
Analysts said with the with economy getting on track after six years of recovery from the Great Recession, the central bank believes a Fed rate hike in the coming months would be a healthy sign for the economy.
 
The US economy expanded at a healthy rate of 2.4 percent last year. Policymakers had hoped this year would be even stronger, but the Fed's latest prediction is for 1.8 percent to 2 percent growth.
 
The Fed slashed interest rates to near 0 percent in December 2008 to help rejuvenate the battered economy.
 
The Fed has not actually raised rates in almost a decade and low interest rates and analysts saw little chance of the Fed raising rates at its June meeting.
 
The economy contracted in the first three months of 2015 while inflation and consumer spending remained tepid. Though it regained some momentum in spring, it was not enough to justify a June rate hike.

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