Nike’s elite training center, is set to close following a doping scandal involving a coach.
Two weeks ago head-trainer at the Portland-based project Alberto Salazar received a four-year ban for breaking anti-doping rules between the years 2010-2014 after an investigation by US anti-doping agency USADA.
Nike Chief Executive Mark Parker announced the move in a memo provided to Runner’s World magazine.
“This situation, along with ongoing unsubstantiated assertions, is a distraction for many of the athletes and is compromising their ability to focus on their training and competition needs,” Parker said in the memo, according to the magazine.
USADA alleged that Salazar trafficked banned, performance-enhancing drugs to its athletes. The Cuban-born former marathon runner has appealed that decision.
No NOP athlete has ever failed a doping test, and the USADA probe pre-dated the entry of the athletes to the group.
Nike said it will help athletes find new training arrangements.
NOP runners won three gold medals at the recent world championships in Qatar.