Alberto Salazar, a legendary marathon runner who was head coach of the Nike Oregon Project until it was disbanded last fall after he was suspended for four years for anti-doping violations, was given a temporary suspension by the U.S. Center for SafeSport Friday evening.
Salazar’s suspension comes nearly three months after former high school track phenom Mary Cain went public with the chilling accusation that she was “emotionally and physically abused” while training under Salazar at Nike.
Cain told The New York Times that she was shamed into losing weight, causing her menstrual cycle to stop for three years, leading to five broken bones. She also said she developed suicidal thoughts and started to cut herself.
SafeSport’s mandate gives it exclusive authority over sexual abuse within the U.S. Olympic community, but it also can rule on cases of emotional and physical abuse on a discretionary basis. It is not clear what kind of alleged abuse led SafeSport to issue its ban.
“SafeSport does not comment on specific matters to protect the integrity of the process and the parties involved, especially any potential victims,” spokesman Dan Hill told USA TODAY sports.