Alberto Salazar gives the keynote address at the 2007 Rosary Bowl in Keizer. He has denied the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s ruling that he administered illegal performance-enhancing drugs. (Sentinel archives)
Alberto Salazar gives the keynote address at the 2007 Rosary Bowl in Keizer. He has denied the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s ruling that he administered illegal performance-enhancing drugs. (Sentinel archives)
Alberto Salazar, a former Central Catholic cross-country coach who’s trained Olympic medalist Galen Rupp, has been banned from coaching for four years due to doping violations.

Salazar, a Catholic, was found guilty along with a Houston endocrinologist who had treated athletes belonging to the Nike Oregon Project, a Portland-based training group Salazar coached.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced the decision Sept. 30 and the ban began immediately.

“While acting in connection with the Nike Oregon Project, Mr. Salazar and Dr. [Jeffery] Brown demonstrated that winning was more important than the health and well-being of the athletes they were sworn to protect,” said USADA Chief Executive Officer Travis Tygart in a prepared statement.

A panel found that Salazar and Brown trafficked testosterone, a banned performance-enhancing substance, and administered a prohibited IV infusion.

The panel also indicated it believes Salazar committed the violations unintentionally, “apparently motivated by his desire to provide the very best results and training for athletes.”

“Unfortunately, that desire clouded his judgment in some instances, when his usual focus on the rules appears to have lapsed,” read the report’s summary.

In 2015 an investigative report by the BBC and ProPublica included allegations that Rupp and Salazar were involved with performance-enhancing drugs.

Rupp, also Catholic, has not been accused of cheating by the USADA. Salazar always has denied wrongdoing and has vowed to appeal the ban.