World
More Athletes Say Track Coach Alberto Salazar Broke Drug Rules
Following an investigation by ProPublica and the BBC, other athletes describe pressure to get prescription drugs they didn’t need and Salazar’s top runner flies to Oregon to get answers
 
Updated (Jun. 12, 2015): 
Allegations that Alberto Salazar, the most powerful coach in U.S. track, has violated the sport’s medical and anti-doping rules intensified this week with additional runners coming forward and Mo Farah, his most-successful athlete, demanding answers.
 
An investigation by ProPublica and the BBC last week detailed the claims of top athletes and others who worked with Salazar at the Nike-funded Oregon Project that he experimented with the well-known doping aid testosterone — including using his son as a guinea pig to determine how much would trigger an anti-doping test; that he manipulated the therapeutic use exemption system that allows athletes to use medical treatments that are otherwise restricted; and that he gave runners prescription drugs they either didn’t need or weren’t prescribed to gain a competitive advantage.
 
Salazar has denied the allegations and promised a detailed response that will prove sources in the story were “knowingly making false statements.” 
 
Since the investigation was published, three more former members of the Oregon Project have contacted ProPublica, bringing to 17 the number of athletes and Oregon Project staffers who have described to ProPublica and the BBC what they feel was inappropriate prescription drug use orchestrated by Salazar. Most declined to speak publicly because of the power Salazar and Nike hold in U.S. track. Salazar did not respond immediately to an email seeking comment. 
 
Among the new allegations, one runner recalled being tested four times in a matter of months for thyroid function — despite a lack of any symptoms — until getting a result that, while still well within the normal range, was deemed sub-optimal. The runner recounted finally getting a prescription for the thyroid hormone drug Cytomel. 
 
“It makes you feel revved up and good in a pretty immediate way,” the athlete said. “It feels like a performance enhancer when you’re taking it. I consider what I was doing a kind of doping.” 
 
The story has provoked a barrage of news stories in the U.K., where track has much broader support, reporting every detail and quoting prominent athletes calling on British track star Farah to distance himself from Salazar, who coached him to two gold medals at the London Olympics.
 
Neither ProPublica nor the BBC reported any allegations against Farah, but he pulled out of his next race — reportedly forgoing an appearance fee of about $115,000 — citing emotional fatigue from media coverage. “You guys are killing me,” he told a media throng Saturday at a press conference in London. 
 
Farah and Salazar’s long-time protégé, Galen Rupp, won the gold and silver respectively in the 10K at the London Olympics in 2012. Farah also won gold in the 5K, and vaulted to national icon status. 
 
For the initial report, Steve Magness, a former Oregon Project coach and scientific advisor, gave ProPublica and the BBC a document recording Rupp’s blood tests from a period when he was in high school that noted he was “presently on prednisone and testosterone medication.” Salazar and Rupp say that Rupp has never taken testosterone or testosterone medication. Salazar said the notation was an error and referred to a nutritional supplement called Testoboost — created by a former world powerlifting champion and meant to increase testosterone naturally — that Rupp was taking “in an effort to counterbalance the negative effects of prednisone.” 
 
At the press conference, Farah said that he has never had reason to believe Salazar has violated rules, and he will continue to train with him. But under increasing pressure from the British press, Farah promptly booked a flight to the U.S. and said he intended to meet with Salazar face-to-face to get some answers. By Friday, Farah said he was once again “upbeat.” 
 
As part of its story last week, ProPublica and the BBC reported that Salazar had been the coach of U.S. middle-distance star Mary Decker Slaney when an anti-doping test she took in June 1996 at the Olympic trials showed an unusual testosterone profile, and ultimately led to her being suspended by the IAAF, track and field’s international governing body. 
 
During the press conference, Farah said that Salazar had assured him that he had not been Slaney’s coach during that time. “That is a serious question and that is a question I asked before [I joined Nike’s Oregon Project],” Farah said. “And Alberto said no, he wasn’t coaching her at the time she failed a drug test.” 
 
In his 2012 memoir, “14 Minutes: A Running Legend’s Life and Death and Life,” Salazar wrote: "I also coached my good friend Mary Slaney, the American middle-distance legend, at the end of her career.” As the Guardian reported after the press conference, Salazar was identified in numerous media accounts as Slaney’s coach the month before she tested positive, the month she tested positive, as well as in subsequent months after she tested positive. 
 
According to Duke Law Magazine, on the day that Slaney was informed of the results of her anti-doping test, Salazar began helping to coordinate her legal challenge to a doping ban. Salazar is expected to say that Slaney’s primary coach was Bill Dellinger, and that he himself was a temporary adviser. A New York Times article dated a month before Slaney’s failed test describes Salazar as her “coach of two years.” An interview of both Salazar and Slaney in Runner’s World in June 1996 refers to Salazar as Slaney’s coach. The pair are photographed running together, and Slaney refers to Dellinger as someone “who also coaches me.” 
 
A former Oregon Project athlete who spoke with ProPublica and the BBC this week described Salazar acting as both a physician and a pharmacy of sorts, doling out… 
 
 
Courtesy: ProPublica

User

Greece bailout talks end without deal

Hopes to strike a deal now move to Thursday's Eurogroup meeting in Luxembourg which many believe is the last chance before Greece's EU bailout expires at the end of June

 

Negotiations between Greece and its creditors have ended without reaching a deal, a European Commission spokesman said.
 
The spokesman said there remained wide differences between Greece's reform plan and the requirement of its international creditors, Xinhua news agency reported.
 
Sunday's negotiations in the Belgian capital lasted for less than one hour.
 
Hopes to strike a deal now move to Thursday's Eurogroup meeting in Luxembourg which many believe is the last chance before Greece's EU bailout expires at the end of June.

User

Madurai man's spicy success story in Moscow

No, his Russian customers are not cooking Indian food at their homes, but buy the spices for their medicinal properties

 

At P. Jeevanantham's chain of retail outlets selling Indian spices and other food items in Russia, Russians are his major customers and not Indians.
 
No, his Russian customers are not cooking Indian food at their homes, but buy the spices for their medicinal properties.
 
"When I started the Indian Spices Shop in early 1990s, my customers were largely Indians-students and others-who bought the items for cooking. But with the reduction of Indian population due to economic reasons, the ratio of Indian-to-Russian customers reversed," Jeevanantham told this visiting IANS correspondent.
 
"The Russians do their research on the internet on the natural remedies for some ailments and come here to buy the spices. Recently, a Russian asked for gymnema leaves having anti-diabetic properties which were shipped to him from India," he added.
 
Born and raised in Madurai, Jeevanantham owns and runs a chain of seven Indian Spices Shop outlets-five of them in Moscow, one each in St. Petersberg and Tver.
 
He has also promoted a hotel by name Amil in Rajapalayam in Tamil Nadu.
 
"The retailing business growth is good. We clock around 20 percent annual growth. The Indian hotel is also picking up business with occupancy going up at a steady pace," he said.
 
Jeevanantham landed in Moscow then the capital of undivided Soviet Union for a masters in agriculture.
 
"As the education was in Russian language we had to study the language for a year and then join the main course," he recalled.
 
According to him, vacations were spent in London working in retail outlets there.
 
"I used to see many Indians in London buy spices and other things at the retail outlets. Though at that point of time there were many Indians living in Moscow and in other parts, there was no outlet catering to our needs," Jeevanantham said.
 
During early part of the 1990s there used to be around 12,000 Indians in Moscow. Indians also lived in other parts of the then Soviet Union.
 
"It was then I wondered about the business opportunity for selling Indian spices and other food items for the Indian community in Russia. In order to cook our food we used to bring the ingredients in bulk from India. At that time there were other Asian nationals in Russia apart from Indians and other foreigners," he said.
 
According to him, at that time India mainly shipped pepper and curry leaves to Russia for industrial/bulk users and not for retail customers.
 
The idea of starting an Indian store started gaining roots in his mind and partnering with his friend M. Athimoolam set up his first store in Moscow at the People's Friendship University in 1994.
 
The initial investment was around $300 and the outlet catered to the Indian and other Asian students.
 
While the break-up of the Soviet Union impacted the business initially with the size of the Indian community in Russia going down, the sales started to pick up after some period.
 
"Russians turned out to be our major customers now. Post the break-up of the Soviet Union, many Russians started going out to other countries and started tasting different cuisines. And on their return to Russia they started looking out for ingredients," Jeevanantham said.
 
But life was not easy for Jeevanantham after the Soviet Union break-up, the following ruble devaluation in 1998.
 
"My bank collapsed and along with that went my savings. I also suffered a big loss due to burglary at my home," he said.
 
His partner had gone back to India and settled there much earlier.
 
In face he contemplated quitting Russia.
 
"I even went to London and saw a store. But the locality did not promise good business. I was also advised by my close friends to come back here," he said.
 
Focussing his energies he stabilised the operations and started expanded his product range by including items bought by Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Mexicans and others.
 
Along the line the number of outlets too started to increase.
 
Looking back, Jeevanantham recalls fondly his first full container load import from India that got sold out immediately.
 
"That was a big event in my life. I was bit tense," he recalls.
 
While he imported assorted items earlier, today at times he imports a container load of single item.
 
After selling third party brands, Jeevanantham last year started selling products under his own brand called Amil.
 
Speaking of business dynamics, Jeevanantham who is cagey in sharing financial figures said an outlet similar to his would need an investment of around $300,000 and would break even in around three years time.
 
Agreeing that there further growth potential, he is bit reluctant to expand his chain or opening a departmental store.
 
Jeevanantham follows a strange policy of being debt free and expanding the outlets through internal accruals and own funds.
 
"Somehow I do not like to borrow from the banks. I had to resort to borrowing only for the hotel project in Rajapalayam as the cost exceeded the expectations," he said.
 
The 52 room star hotel in Rajapalayam a field that is entirely new to him.
 
"I hired a consultant who chalked out the path. I wanted to have a hotel and decided to venture into this segment," he remarked.
 
The hotel involving an outlay of around Rs.20 crore opened last December and is fast picking up.
 
Jeevanantham is married to Karina a Russian by birth and the couple now takes care of the business.
 

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)