Nike oregon project: medal factory for top runners

Nike oregon project: medal factory for top runners

A member of the nike oregon project? At the world athletics championships in doha, runners are no longer just divided into nations. Meanwhile, there is an unofficial new category.

Seven athletes from the camp of the banned star coach alberto salazar are at the start in doha – including the german top talent konstanze klosterhalfen. The case made a lot of headlines at the world cup.

The general suspicion weighed heavily on everyone at first. Now U.S. Anti-doping agency head travis tygart said on ZDF that no world championship participant is involved in the case. Athletes who participated until 2014 testified at the investigation. What runners will draw consequences from the verdict with the four-year ban for salazar and medic jeffrey brown remains to be seen.

The logo of the project, by the way, shows a skull and two laurel leaves. That these are dark days for those in charge in oregon was shown by the homepage: on a black flat is a reference to salazar’s statement opposing the verdict.

On tuesday night, american donavan brazier ran to gold in the 800 meters. He knows salazar "hardly", he said. "When the investigation started, i didn’t even know what the oregon project was." He had only joined in 2018. The 22-year-old is coached – like klosterhalfen – by salazar assistant pete julian.

Also 10.000-meter world champion sifan hassan (netherlands), title contender in the 1500 meters, has developed into a world-class runner in portland.

The selected athletes benefit from the highly professional conditions at the oregon project: underwater treadmills, rooms that simulate high air, extensive care from doctors and physiotherapists. "It’s all about running there. Everything is geared toward that – that’s perhaps the roughest difference," klosterhalfen said briefly. "It’s like training camp every day."

The campus is located on the main land of the sporting goods manufacturer nike, the main financial backer. Nike and cuban-born salazar founded the project in 2001. Cuban-born donavan brazier once won the new york marathon three times, but his relentless ambition as a runner caused him health problems. At the time, the now 61-year-old wanted to break the supremacy of the uber-powerful endurance athletes from africa.

Somali-born brit mo farah is salazer’s most successful protege: four-time olympic champion over 5000 and 10.000 meters, six-time world champion. Also the american top runner galen rupp, olympic runner-up 2012 over 10.000 meters and olympic bronze medalist in the 2016 marathon, achieved his greatest successes out of the nike oregon project.

Farah had sought a new coach in britain in 2017 with his move to the marathon, and said after the doping quake there should be "no tolerance for anyone who breaks the rules or crosses a line". Tygart, in turn, explained: "the athletes were experimental animals, that’s how you have to put it."