Nike says to shut down Oregon Project after Salazar banned
Nike said on Oct. 11 it plans to shut down its Oregon Project training group after top athletics coach Alberto Salazar was banned for doping.
Salazar, best known for coaching Britain’s four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah, was earlier this month handed a four-year ban by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for a catalogue of drugs violations.
The 61-year-old Cuban-born American had denied the allegations against him and said he will appeal the ban.
“This situation, along with ongoing unsubstantiated assertions, is a distraction for many of the athletes and is compromising their ability to focus on their training and competition needs,” said Nike Chairman Mark Parker in a memo to staff.
“I have therefore made the decision to wind down the Oregon Project.”
Jeffrey Brown, a Texas endocrinologist who treated many of Salazar’s athletes at the Oregon training hub in Portland, was also suspended for four years.
Nike has said it will support Salazar in his appeal.
“A four-year suspension for someone who acted in good faith is wrong,” said Parker in the memo.