The now-defunct Nike Oregon Project and suspended coach Alberto Salazar are getting more and more discredited. Several athletes and a co-trainer paint a frightening picture. Mary Cain has been silent for many years. Out of fear, out of shame. But after the sensational doping ban against controversial athletics coach Alberto Salazar and the end of the Nike Oregon Project (NOP), the former "miracle runner" dared to go public. And what the former junior world champion over 3000m in the "New York Times" reported, draws a frightening picture of the elite running team.
"I was the victim of abuse, a system and a man," said Cain, who joined the NOP in 2013 at the age of 17. She was asked to significantly reduce her weight. She thereby developed the Red S syndrome, which led to the loss of her period for three years and a total of five fractures. Salazar rejects all allegationsSalazar was banned for four years for violating anti-doping rules on October 1st. A little later, Nike hired the NOP, but the sporting goods manufacturer Salazar continues to support in its fight against the verdict.Auch the German World Cup third Konstanze Klosterhalfen had been training since the end of 2018 in the United States. According to own data, however, not with Salazar, but with his assistant coach Pete Julian. With this and with another six former NOP athletes, she apparently wants to prepare for the Olympics. The disgraced Salazar rejected all the allegations. Rather, he said that even in April, Cain had visited the project to be resumed. Nike announced its own investigation that it would listen to former athletes of the Oregon Project, the company said – but Cain accused to speak out only now. "He was like a father to me" Cain felt only through the lock for Salazar encourages to speak openly. "After the doping report, I suddenly felt freed, which helped me to understand that this system is not okay," she said. She did not dispute the ambitions of returning to the NOP, but blamed her emotional dependence on Salazar. "For many years, the only thing I wanted was recognition from Alberto, I still loved him, he was like a father to me "More like a god," Cain said, "I told Alberto that I wanted to work with him again – if we let people break us, we need their recognition more than anything else." "You had the stoutest Ass at the start line "Several former teammates and ex-coach Steve Magness support Cain's statements. Olympian Amy Yoder Begley said she was knocked out of the NOP in 2011 after finishing sixth at the US Championships with the words "you had the biggest ass at the start line". Former World Cup Second Kara Goucher challenged Nike to take part in the Investigation to talk to her. "I have stories that support all of Mary's allegations, and much more," she said. She spoke of "mental manipulation," the program has shown traits of a sect: "And I was a member." Magness, one of the main witnesses in the investigation of the US Anti-Doping Agency USADA against Salazar, reported his then boss was "obsessed" by the weight. The incidents were "the norm" and part of the "culture". For the former main sponsor Nike, the project is in any case more and more a public relations disaster. USA Today, one of the nation's largest circulation newspapers, said that Nikes credibility was "in ruins." Once the company was famous for its innovations and new ways, now Nike has become the "Russia of sports equipment".