Competitive Running is Trying to Depress Me

Yesterday, news broke that the Beeb - BBC - was releasing a documentary that Coach Alberto Salazar had been doping the Nike Oregon Project team members for years. The alleged doping included Galen Rupp. More than one person came forward and they brought a slim bit of physical evidence with them.

This follows on the heels of the sudden departure of Mary Cain last week from the team. She headed back to Bronxville, NY. One reason was offered and her decision was one of the big topics of conversation, always hushed, at the PRE last week. Now the rumors are starting to swirl.

Along with the setbacks from Rita Jeptoo and the transgressions of the Russian Federation, this is one more sign of the rot that exists at the elite level, which begins to remind one of the peloton at the Tour d' France.

Since I coach at a much younger level, this normal doesn't hit home quite so closely, except that one of the allegations is that Rupp began doping back in high school. That would match the efforts of the Russians, if true. One of the reports suggested that the Russians began doping prior to the athletes reaching elite status to reset their biological passport, the set of individual parameters of blood work used by WADA and USADA to determine if an athlete has been cheating.

That frankly disgusts and depresses me. I send the kids out asking that they do their best. Not win, but compete hard, run with guts, and leave it on the course. If any wanted to cheat, I'd be distressed that I hadn't done my job properly.

As for the elites, maybe they need to go back to junior high.