US athletics coach Alberto Salazar’s four-year ban for doping violations upheld

Disgraced US athletics coach Alberto Salazar has had his four-year suspension upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The 63-year-old, who ran the Nike Oregon Project, was banned two years ago for a string of doping violations by the US Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) – but appealed against the decision.

A four-year ban on physician and endocrinologist Dr. Jeffrey Brown, who worked alongside Salazar, was also given at the time.

BBC Panorama's explosive documentary in 2015 exposed the Nike Oregon project, and prompted a four-year investigation by Usada and a two-year court battle behind closed doors.

It resulted in bans for both Salazar and Brown, announced in October 2019. Their appeals were heard virtually over seven days in March earlier this year, and a full report by CAS is due to be published imminently.

CAS ruled Salazar guilty of three offences, namely possession of testosterone, complicity in Brown's administration of a prohibited method, and tampering with the doping control process.

In a statement, CAS said that Salazar and Brown "committed a number of anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs) and has confirmed the four-year bans imposed on them."

The decision to uphold the ban was lauded by USADA chief executive Travis Tygart, who said: "Getting to this final point in the Nike Oregon Project case has been a long and difficult road, but we are pleased that the CAS Panel upheld multiple anti-doping rule violations and four-year sanctions against both Coach Alberto Salazar and Dr. Jeffrey Brown.

"Hopefully, this sends a powerful message that when athletes come to us with information of doping violations or other misconduct, they know we will listen to them and protect them by pursuing the evidence, no matter the power, influence, or financial resources of those in violation – even those who orchestrate cover-ups and attempt to obstruct the truth."

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Sir Mo Farah worked alongside Salazar on the Oregon project from 2011 to 2017.

The four-time Olympic champion has never been implicated in any of the rulings against his former coach, and previously, has vehemently hit out at any innuendo about the pair's association.

"I can sleep at night knowing I've done nothing wrong," he told the Mirror last year.

"It has made me question if I'm a bad person. Is it against me? Is it because of my colour? It makes you question everything and that's annoying and damaging."

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