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Salazar refutes BBC report, denies doping aid


Alberto Salazar (C) hugs US athlete Bernard Lagat (R) and US athlete Galen Rupp following the men’s 5,000 metres final at the International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in Daegu, South Korea on September 4, 2011 (AFP Photo/Jung Yeon-Je)

EUGINE, June 24 – Alberto Salazar, famed coach of double Olympic and world chamion Mo Farah, denied allegations made in a BBC documentary that he helped runners use banned substances, vowing in an open letter Wednesday that “I will never permit doping.”

The letter was posted on the Nike Oregon Project website on the eve of the US Track and Field Championships in Eugene, near the group’s Portland base. The event is the US qualifying meet for the world championships at Beijing in August.

Salazar, the Cuban-born 56-year-old American, a three-time New York Marathon champion who also won the Boston Marathon and ran in the Olympics, coaches British 10,000m London Olympic champion Farah and runner-up Galen Rupp, with the latter seeking his seventh consecutive US 10,000 crown Thursday at the nationals.

A BBC documentary earlier this month in collaboration with the ProPublica website accused Salazar of violating anti-doping rules, with claims Salazar doped Rupp in 2002 with the anabolic steroid testosterone when Rupp was only 16.

“I will never permit doping,” Salazar said. “I have not and will not condone any athlete I train using a banned substance and would never encourage any athlete to use a banned substance. We have worked very, very hard to achieve our successes and are proud of our accomplishments.”

The report also says Salazar encouraged using prescription medications for thyroid and asthma that were not needed for a competitive edge and abuse of the therapeutic use exemption rule where athletes can get approval to utilize otherwise banned medications.

“The allegations in the BBC/ProPublica stories are demonstrably false,” Salazar said. “I hereby demand the BBC and ProPublica immediately publish a retraction of their false statements.

“I am saddened that these false allegations have been allowed to run with little care for the carnage in their wake.”

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