Off-Ohio Topic, but pertinent - Mary Cain's NY Times Op-Ed regarding NOP, Salazar, & Nike

JAVMAN83

Active member
I don't normally recommend anything on LetsRun, the cesspool that it is, but they've published the transcript & link to the video interview with her regarding Salazar, NOP, and Nike. Not good for anyone.

 

Rohbino

Well-known member
Thank you posting the link to the interview.

Salazar is scum. I hope that Travis Tygart, the man that took that execrable person named Lance Armstrong to the woodshed, does the same with Salazar.

I was really disappointed when Clayton Murphy joined the Salazar/NOP stable. He has not prospered there. I am hoping that he can get back on track.
 

JAVMAN83

Active member
I don't have quite the same reaction, but one of more disappointment and surprise that Nike would give such free reign and not have more oversight of a program they sponsored. Perhaps, and probably most likely, is that Nike is to incestuous in its "Oregon" thinking. Giving deference to ex-Oregon greats.

I'm no fan of Tygart. I think he's as boastful and arrogant as those he makes accusations of. No one individual within any organization should wield total power. That is bad for all.

As for the sport itself, I think it is dying at the professional level. Olympic costs are far too high and too costly upon cities/nations. The control exerted over the lives of athletes by requiring them to give in advance a complete listing of where they'll be anytime of a day for 90 days smacks of totalitarianism, IMHO. No pursuit of any so-called "Olympic glory" is worth that. Financially, companies are walking away. IAAF just released their revised schedule of 2020 Diamond League events that will be sponsored in the major meets. Gone is anything over 3000m. No 200m, no Steeplechase. No triple jump, discus, or hammer throw. Everything condensed down to a 90-minute format. Europe has already seen major declines in followers of the sport. African/Middle-Eastern domination of distance events has turned off many spectators as they see it as the same-ole, same-ole.

Anyway, I do wish Mary all the best. Her talent hasn't gone anywhere. You're born with that. Hopefully we'll see her back at the international level again at some point in the future and she will be 100% healthy.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
I don't have quite the same reaction, but one of more disappointment and surprise that Nike would give such free reign and not have more oversight of a program they sponsored. Perhaps, and probably most likely, is that Nike is to incestuous in its "Oregon" thinking. Giving deference to ex-Oregon greats.

I'm no fan of Tygart. I think he's as boastful and arrogant as those he makes accusations of. No one individual within any organization should wield total power. That is bad for all.

As for the sport itself, I think it is dying at the professional level. Olympic costs are far too high and too costly upon cities/nations. The control exerted over the lives of athletes by requiring them to give in advance a complete listing of where they'll be anytime of a day for 90 days smacks of totalitarianism, IMHO. No pursuit of any so-called "Olympic glory" is worth that. Financially, companies are walking away. IAAF just released their revised schedule of 2020 Diamond League events that will be sponsored in the major meets. Gone is anything over 3000m. No 200m, no Steeplechase. No triple jump, discus, or hammer throw. Everything condensed down to a 90-minute format. Europe has already seen major declines in followers of the sport. African/Middle-Eastern domination of distance events has turned off many spectators as they see it as the same-ole, same-ole.

Anyway, I do wish Mary all the best. Her talent hasn't gone anywhere. You're born with that. Hopefully we'll see her back at the international level again at some point in the future and she will be 100% healthy.
Nike has shown over the years that their main interest is the bottom line. I never got a sense that Nike cares much about the details as long as they're making money and getting big performances from the athletes they sponsor. Nike hung onto Tiger Woods after the news of his extramarital affairs broke because he was still the biggest name in golf (and still is today for reasons I'll never understand), and Nike felt he could still make money for them in the golfing world. Meanwhile, virtually every other sponsor of Tiger Woods ran the other way when we learned why Elin bashed in Eldrich's rear window.

Reminds me of a line I once heard in a Chuck Norris movie, and I'm paraphrasing here: "Big corporations don't concern themselves with such details. They only want to know 'how much is it going to cost?'"
 
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CatchKokopelli

New member
Can we appreciate and wish for more Hansons Running Club, New York Track Club, Atlanta Track Club, Oiselle, and other smaller "grass roots" professional clubs?

Nike throws their weight around and make it to where if you want to be successful you need to be with them and their agents. Ask the professional crowd - Nike can be the reason you get in or get denied an opportunity for a big meet in Europe.

Optimistic and Naive - I would love to see more state's create a professional development program with great coaches. Nike shouldn't have the biggest share, but they have the most money and can throw that around. Stop buying Nike shoes. Start buying Hoka's (if they work for you). They support Colby Alexander, an Ohio native from Strongsville.

We show the industry who we want to be successful by what we buy. Time to see Saucony, New Balance, Hoka make a run against the Nike machine.
 

ENA2

Member
New Balance - Coburn, Simpson, and I think McLaughlin and others has made a "dent" in the Nike Armour. Maybe they and Nike's problems have opened the door for others
 

Rohbino

Well-known member
I don't have quite the same reaction, but one of more disappointment and surprise that Nike would give such free reign and not have more oversight of a program they sponsored. Perhaps, and probably most likely, is that Nike is to incestuous in its "Oregon" thinking. Giving deference to ex-Oregon greats.

I'm no fan of Tygart. I think he's as boastful and arrogant as those he makes accusations of. No one individual within any organization should wield total power. That is bad for all.

As for the sport itself, I think it is dying at the professional level. Olympic costs are far too high and too costly upon cities/nations. The control exerted over the lives of athletes by requiring them to give in advance a complete listing of where they'll be anytime of a day for 90 days smacks of totalitarianism, IMHO. No pursuit of any so-called "Olympic glory" is worth that. Financially, companies are walking away. IAAF just released their revised schedule of 2020 Diamond League events that will be sponsored in the major meets. Gone is anything over 3000m. No 200m, no Steeplechase. No triple jump, discus, or hammer throw. Everything condensed down to a 90-minute format. Europe has already seen major declines in followers of the sport. African/Middle-Eastern domination of distance events has turned off many spectators as they see it as the same-ole, same-ole.

Anyway, I do wish Mary all the best. Her talent hasn't gone anywhere. You're born with that. Hopefully we'll see her back at the international level again at some point in the future and she will be 100% healthy.
Good comments, Javman.

I believe that most what you say is spot-on. I do feel, though, that there needs to be someone like Tygart in sport. There has to be an enforcer to lasso the cheats. It is unfortunate that so many that aren't cheating need to be subjected to the testing but those that do cheat have created this environment.

In cycling and other sports, there has been widespread corruption that has allowed unfettered cheating to be rampant. When Lance Armstrong was winning all of his TdF titles everyone knew that he was cheating but turned a blind eye. Those that were supposed to be enforcing the rules were, in fact, complicit in the cheating. Not coincidentally, Nike was also tied heavily to Armstrong. Nike is a scourge on the sport. If anyone is interested in reading about how much of a cheat Armstrong and his team was, a book written by Tyler Hamilton, a former teammate of his, is eye-opening. It's a quick one or two day read and worth it. Here's a review of that book.

Bringing up Armstrong is drifting away from track and field a bit but he has parallels with Salazar. Armstrong intimidated and threatened many that spoke out against him. He threatened to destroy those people within the cycling world and he often succeeded. He was able to get riders' contract rescinded, reputations ruined, and worse. I didn't come to despise Armstrong because he cheated. He used EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, and other cheating methods. In that day, though, almost all professional cyclists did. What I despised him for was his strong-arm (or Armstrong) tactics in silencing those that wanted to make a change. Ask Greg LeMond all about that. Greg could crush Armstrong when both were in their prime and without any "aid." Lance knew that LeMond had superior natural ability and that, along with LeMond's criticism of Armstrong, put LeMond in his sights.

I don't believe that Salazar has gone to the same extremes as Armstrong but if he were to go unchecked, what is to say that he would grow into the monster that Armstrong became? Salazar has intimidated many of his athletes in order to get them to comply. I am glad that Mary Cain has spoken out against him and I hope that others do as well. Track & field also does not have near the rampant doping and cheating that went on in cycling but if left unchecked, it could easily get that way. Until someone can come up with something better, the control exerted over the lives of athletes is going to have to be. It sucks but it is what it is.
Stop buying Nike shoes. Start buying Hoka's (if they work for you). They support Colby Alexander, an Ohio native from Strongsville.

We show the industry who we want to be successful by what we buy. Time to see Saucony, New Balance, Hoka make a run against the Nike machine.
What's ironic is that Nike shoes are not really all that popular with the majority of distance runners. Go to any road race or event in which people aren't getting their equipment paid for by a sponsor. You'll see more Hoka, New Balance, Saucony, Brooks, and others. The same at a high school meet. While Nike distance spikes are still fairly popular, look at what most of the training shoes are. Nikes just are not that popular. Others are making superior shoes.
 

mathking

Active member
For my part, I think every track and cross country coach should watch this video. Salazar is indefensible, but for me the larger story isn't about his cheating per se, but about the win at all costs attitude and how someone thought to be at the peak of knowledge about performance was remarkably ignorant of basic physiology and psychology. Particularly ignorance of how over training, unhealthy weight and unhealthy eating habits, and psychological stress can be really, really bad things with long term consequences. These are things every coach should consider. Ask yourself if any of your athletes, particularly but not exclusively young women, have gone on to college and never lived up to what you thought their potential was. That might have been a bad college coach. That might have just been bad luck. But we should be asking ourselves whether we contributed to it at all. Whether we missed or ignored warning signs. And how we can not do that in the future.
 
Good comments, Javman.

I believe that most what you say is spot-on. I do feel, though, that there needs to be someone like Tygart in sport. There has to be an enforcer to lasso the cheats. It is unfortunate that so many that aren't cheating need to be subjected to the testing but those that do cheat have created this environment.

In cycling and other sports, there has been widespread corruption that has allowed unfettered cheating to be rampant. When Lance Armstrong was winning all of his TdF titles everyone knew that he was cheating but turned a blind eye. Those that were supposed to be enforcing the rules were, in fact, complicit in the cheating. Not coincidentally, Nike was also tied heavily to Armstrong. Nike is a scourge on the sport. If anyone is interested in reading about how much of a cheat Armstrong and his team was, a book written by Tyler Hamilton, a former teammate of his, is eye-opening. It's a quick one or two day read and worth it. Here's a review of that book.

Bringing up Armstrong is drifting away from track and field a bit but he has parallels with Salazar. Armstrong intimidated and threatened many that spoke out against him. He threatened to destroy those people within the cycling world and he often succeeded. He was able to get riders' contract rescinded, reputations ruined, and worse. I didn't come to despise Armstrong because he cheated. He used EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, and other cheating methods. In that day, though, almost all professional cyclists did. What I despised him for was his strong-arm (or Armstrong) tactics in silencing those that wanted to make a change. Ask Greg LeMond all about that. Greg could crush Armstrong when both were in their prime and without any "aid." Lance knew that LeMond had superior natural ability and that, along with LeMond's criticism of Armstrong, put LeMond in his sights.

I don't believe that Salazar has gone to the same extremes as Armstrong but if he were to go unchecked, what is to say that he would grow into the monster that Armstrong became? Salazar has intimidated many of his athletes in order to get them to comply. I am glad that Mary Cain has spoken out against him and I hope that others do as well. Track & field also does not have near the rampant doping and cheating that went on in cycling but if left unchecked, it could easily get that way. Until someone can come up with something better, the control exerted over the lives of athletes is going to have to be. It sucks but it is what it is.


What's ironic is that Nike shoes are not really all that popular with the majority of distance runners. Go to any road race or event in which people aren't getting their equipment paid for by a sponsor. You'll see more Hoka, New Balance, Saucony, Brooks, and others. The same at a high school meet. While Nike distance spikes are still fairly popular, look at what most of the training shoes are. Nikes just are not that popular. Others are making superior shoes.
What you say about Armstrong is completely true but everyone he was racing was also cheating and I for one don't believe for a seconds that LeMond was raced clean. There is no way he was good enough to beat all the cheaters clean. Cycling is as dirty as they come and has been for many decades.
 

JAVMAN83

Active member
Update: Nike to do an internal investigation regarding Ms. Cain's allegations.


I saw on Mary's twitter account that a number of people that were there at NOP during her short couple years (2014-2016) with Salazar & that squad are backing up her allegations. You can see for yourself: https://twitter.com/runmarycain
 

madman

Active member
Can we appreciate and wish for more Hansons Running Club, New York Track Club, Atlanta Track Club, Oiselle, and other smaller "grass roots" professional clubs?
As long as people are involved, there will be people who cheat, steal, and lie involved. It's not like Nike hires all the sinners and everyone else hires only saints. National headlnes don't cover the foibles of mom-and-pop enterprises, but that doesn't mean the issues aren't just as present, if not more likely, in such organizations.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
As long as people are involved, there will be people who cheat, steal, and lie involved. It's not like Nike hires all the sinners and everyone else hires only saints. National headlnes don't cover the foibles of mom-and-pop enterprises, but that doesn't mean the issues aren't just as present, if not more likely, in such organizations.
For sure. As long as someone feels the reward is worth the risk, cheating is going to happen. It's not exclusive to the elite-level athletes although they're more likely to be able to afford a more cutting edge doping regimen that reduces the odds of being caught (remember that the cheaters are always a step ahead of those who are trying to catch them).

One of the top road racers in my area got busted for doping a handful of years ago. The runner suffered an injury and felt like he/she was falling behind the competition, so he/she began doping to catch back up and even surpassed his or her previous level of performance. The runner was far from pro caliber, so there was no big prize money or sponsorship deals in his/her immediate future. The runner was only winning local races that paid a couple hundred bucks here and there. Bragging rights were worth something to the runner, I guess.
 
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