Home > The Scene

Alberto Salazar’s lifetime coaching ban upheld by SafeSport

The once legendary track coach will never again be able to coach at USATF-affiliated organizations or meets

Alberto Salazar

Alberto Salazar’s coaching days in the U.S. are now over, as the appeal of his lifetime ban for sexual misconduct was rejected by the U.S. Center for SafeSport. According to a Runner’s World story published Wednesday, Salazar is now classified as “permanently ineligibleā€ to coach in the U.S.

Photo: Cal Hopkins/Wikimedia

In January 2020, Salazar was first temporarily banned by SafeSport, after several runners he coached, including Mary Cain and Kara Goucher, reported that Salazar had emotionally and physically abused them while part of Nike’s Oregon Project. The ban from SafeSport was made permanent in July 2021, and Salazar appealed the decision. 

This permanent ban prevents him from ever coaching at any USATF-affiliated meet or program in the U.S.  Not all institutions recognize the organization, and in theory, he could still coach track at a private institution.   

Mary Cain suing former coach Alberto Salazar, Nike

Earlier this year, Salazar was also banned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for a series of doping-related violations that occurred while he was coaching the Nike Oregon Project. The CAS governs sports internationally and settles disputes related to sport through arbitration. Salazar’s international coaching ban will be reviewed in 2023.

Director Paul Kemp on his new documentary “Nike’s Big Bet: Alberto Salazar and the Fine Line of Sport”

Salazar was an elite marathoner in the 1980s, winning three straight New York City Marathons. After his career he went on to coach several Olympic champions, including Mo Farah, Matt Centrowitz and Sifan Hassan. None of Salazar’s former athletes has ever been charged with any doping violations.