Nike shuts down Oregon Project after anti-doping ban | News | DW | 11.10.2019
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Nike shuts down Oregon Project after anti-doping ban

After German Konstanze Klosterhalfen won bronze in Doha Athletics World Championships, her training center is closing following a doping ban on one of the trainers. No athletes at the facility failed doping tests.

Nike's elite training center, where German long-distance runner Konstanze Klosterhalfen trained to win bronze at IAAF Athletics World Championships in Doha, 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.

Read more: Betty Heidler: 'Competing in sports gave me self-confidence'

Nike Chief Executive Mark Parker announced the move in a memo provided to Runner's World magazine.

Kenya's Hellen Obiri crosses the line to win gold ahead of Kenya's Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi who wins silver and Germany's Konstanze Klosterhalfen who wins bronze

Konstanze Klosterhalfen maintained she had a different coach to the Cuban-born head coach Alberto Salazar.

"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.

Read more: IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha: Foreseeable problems

Klosterhalfen won third place in Doha for the 5000-meter track in early October. She began training at Oregon Project in 2018 where she maintains that Pete Julian was her coach.

After theQatar World Athletics Championships the German long-distance runner said she wanted to continue to train at the camp.

"It's still the best team in the world," she said. "I know for myself and anyone who is there who is around what happens there and what doesn't happen." She also added that at the camp "doping is not a problem."

Her comments came in response to the German Athletics Association, which had an extended supplier contract with Nike, announcing it wanted to change her management.

Nike said it will help athletes find new training arrangements.

NOP runners won three gold medals at the recent world championships in Qatar.

Dutch runner Sifan Hassan won a 1,500m/10,000m double and the 800m title from Donovan Brazier of the US. This is in addition to Klosterhalfen's bronze.

kmm/sms (Reuters, dpa)

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