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- Kara Goucher, an Olympic long-distance runner and Nike Oregon Project whistleblower, voiced her support for middle-distance runner Mary Cain in an interview with Insider.
- Goucher, who went to the US Anti-Doping Agency with allegations of drug use within the Nike Oregon Project in 2015, says Cain’s allegations could “change the future of the sport.”
- Cain said she was emotionally and physically abused by coach Alberto Salazar while training with the now-shuttered Nike Oregon Project between 2013 and 2016.
- Goucher said that when she first came out with allegations against the Nike Oregon Project, “there was so much backlash and so much anger,” but now with Cain, she sees “overwhelming support.”
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Olympic long-distance runner and Nike Oregon Project whistleblower Kara Goucher told Insider that Mary Cain’s allegations against the now-shuttered program could “change the future of the sport.”
Goucher left the Nike Oregon Project in 2011 and went to the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) with allegations of drug use within the program in 2015. As a result of Goucher and other athletes speaking out, the Nike Oregon Project was shut down in October, after the USADA banned its infamous coach, Alberto Salazar, from the sport for four years.
Goucher voiced her support for Cain on Twitter Thursday, after Cain opened up about her experience with the program and Salazar, in an op-ed video published by the New York Times on Thursday.
Cain said she was emotionally and physically abused by Salazar while with the team, and forced to lose so much weight she lost her period for three years and broke five bones. She said her concerns ignored when she told her coach she was cutting herself and having suicidal thoughts.
After her allegations were made public on Thursday, Mary Cain was met with support from other athletes.
—Kara Goucher (@karagoucher) November 7, 2019
—Kara Goucher (@karagoucher) November 8, 2019
—Adam Goucher (@Adam_Goucher) November 8, 2019
—Shalane Flanagan (@ShalaneFlanagan) November 7, 2019
—Cam Levins (@CamLevins) November 8, 2019
—Cam Levins (@CamLevins) November 8, 2019
—Jonathan J. Marcus (@jmarpdx) November 7, 2019
Weight loss weightloss weight loss programs weight loss foods weight loss tips Two-time Olympian Kara Goucher says there needs to be more women coaches in the running world
Goucher, a two-time Olympic 10,000 meter runner who is running her first ultra-marathon next weekend, told Insider that she had similar experiences at the Nike Oregon Project. She said that like Cain, she had no one to turn to when she needed help.
She said having more female coaches would help the sport, and that there should more training around abuse and ways for athletes to report abuse.
“Moving forward we just need to create safer environments and women have to be included,” she told Insider. “We need a place to go. I had no where to go, and likewise Mary had nowhere to go. It creates a system where they’re able to groom you and manipulate you because there’s nowhere to turn.”
Cain had said that Salazar wanted her to keep losing weight — to be “thinner, and thinner, and thinner,” until she hit his goal weight of 114 pounds. He even told her she should go on birth control or diuretics to shed pounds. Cain said there was no sports psychologist or nutritionist on staff.
Weight loss weightloss weight loss programs weight loss foods weight loss tips Cain and Goucher say the Nike Oregon Project had no nutritionist on staff
Goucher, too, said there was no nutritionist employed by the team. She said anything you told an administrator would get back to Salazar.
“A coach is supposed to provide you with workouts and racing plans and things like that… plotting your future as an athlete,” she told Insider. “There are things they shouldn’t be talking to you about. They shouldn’t be talking to you about your relationship, or your weight, or your body, or the size of your butt. That’s not a place a coach should be.”
Seeing the support Cain’s video received in the running world, Goucher said she has hope in where the sport is going.
She said when she first came out with allegations against the Nike Oregon Project, “there was so much backlash and so much anger,” but now, women’s voices are getting stronger.
“Now seeing Mary coming forward, it’s been overwhelmingly supportive,” she told Insider. “I just really encourage women to come together and to share our stories because the more we speak, the less they can single us out and attack us, and the more we can make change for the future generation.”
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