Banned coach Alberto Salazar’s “obsession” with controlling weight led to mental health problems in athletes, his former assistant has claimed.
Steve Magness was reacting to American athlete Mary Cain’s account of ill effects she suffered under Salazar, who received a four-year ban for doping violations.
“I’ve witnessed the harm and damage that such a culture creates,” Magness posted on social media on Thursday.
“It’s lasting mental health issues.”
In an interview with the New York Times, Cain claimed Salazar’s methods at the Nike Oregon Project (NOP) training set-up resulted in her losing her period for three years and broken bones. She also stated she had “suicidal thoughts” and began to cut herself.
Salazar told the publication he “denied many of Cain’s claims and had supported her health and welfare”. The BBC has also approached the 61-year-old American about Cain’s allegations and those made by Magness.
Nike told BBC Sport that Cain’s allegations are “completely inconsistent” with its values. However, it added that it previously had not been made aware of the issues and that the athlete was “seeking to rejoin the Oregon Project and Alberto’s team as recently as April of this year”. It also said it would launch an investigation to hear from former NOP athletes.
Earlier in November, the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) announced it would investigate those who trained with Salazar.
He was found…