October 7, 2019 / 12:09 AM / 12 days ago

Salazar whistleblower wants Nike Oregon Project shut down

(Reuters) - Athletics whistleblower Kara Goucher wants Alberto Salazar’s Nike Oregon Project (NOP) shut down in the wake of the coach’s four-year suspension for doping violations, the retired runner told the BBC.

FILE PHOTO: Alberto Salazar, coach to Mo Farah of Great Britain and Galen Rupp of the U.S.A. sits inside the Bird's Nest Stadium at the Wold Athletics Championships in Beijing, China, August 21, 2015. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

Goucher said the NOP “has to go” and advised double world athletics distance running champion Siffan Hassan to redirect her anger at Salazar instead of being angry with the world.

“If I was Nike I’d be bringing in some new coaches and move on from this Oregon Project, because clearly it had principles not in line with clean sport and we have to just start over,” Goucher told the BBC.

“These athletes should do the right thing. Staying in that uniform sends such a terrible message. They really need to shut it down and give athletes a chance to train under someone new and fresh,” she said.

Goucher, silver medalist in the 10,000m at the world championships while training under Salazar in 2007, called for samples from Salazar’s athletes to be retested.

“Every blood test should be retested. This is what needs to happen and then we can determine if there should be charges on athletes or not,” she said.

“I know athletes there that are not doing anything wrong, but that’s just the unfortunate situation about a conviction like this,” Goucher said.

Salazar was banned on Tuesday for four years for doping violations, when the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced the punishment for “orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct”.

Salazar, a former world-class marathon runner, said he will appeal against the decision.

Goucher first made claims of wrongdoing about Salazar in 2013 and subsequently testified about the matter at USADA hearings.

Efforts by Reuters to contact Goucher on Sunday were not immediately successful.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Paul Tait

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