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01.10.2019 Sports News

US anti-doping agency hands four-year ban to Salazar for doping violations

By Paul Myers - RFI
AFP/Adrian Dennis
LISTEN OCT 1, 2019
AFP/Adrian Dennis

Veteran athletics coach Alberto Salazar was barred from the world championships on Tuesday after he was banned for four years for his involvement in doping. Salazar, 61, was found guilty after a four-year investigation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (Usada).

The agency also said Jeffrey Brown, a Texas endocrinologist who treated many of Salazar's athletes, had also been banned for four years.

“The athletes in these cases found the courage to speak out and ultimately exposed the truth," said Usada chief executive Travis Tygart.

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

Usada said in a statement that two inquiry panels had determined Salazar and Brown should be punished for orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct.

Salazar was discovered to have trafficked or attempted to traffic banned substance testosterone, given athletes a substance in excess of its permitted limit and tampered with the doping control process of athletes.

"Usada's investigation yielded a wide range of evidence referenced in the hearing, including eye-witness proof, testimonies, contemporaneous emails, and patient records,” a statement said.

A spokesperson for the Iaaf, which organises the world championships, confirmed that Salazar's credentials for the championships had been revoked.

Salazar said he would appeal against the Usada decision. “I'm shocked. During six years of investigation I any my athletes have been treated unfairly. I have always ensured that the world anti-doping code has been strictly respected. The Oregon Project has never and will never allow doping practices.”

The four time Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah left Salazar's camp in 2017 after a six year association. The Briton denied the decision was related to Oregon Project doping accusations.

Several Oregon Project athletes including the newly anointed women's 10,000 metres champion Sifan Hassan are competing at the world championships.

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