Nike said on Friday it may look at the “deeply troubling” allegations of emotional and bodily abuse made by Mary Cain in opposition to its Oregon Project, a distance-running teaching program.
In a video for The New York Times Opinion, revealed on Thursday, Cain accused the enterprise’s director, the marathon good Alberto Salazar, of repeatedly urging her to scale back weight to unhealthy ranges.
Salazar was later suspended for 4 years for anti-doping violations, and the Nike Oregon Project was shut down. Salazar has denied giving athletes performance-enhancing medication.
Nike moreover said in a press launch that “Mary was seeking to rejoin the Oregon Project and Alberto’s team as recently as April of this year and had not raised these concerns as part of that process.”
Cain was a highschool middle distance phenom from New York, qualifying for the Olympic Trials in 2012 at 16. Later that 12 months, she began teaching with Salazar and continued to take motion until 2015. Her later performances on the monitor did not match her early promise.
In the video, Cain, 23, accused Salazar of shaming her in the doorway of others on the workforce when she did not attain the required weight targets. She said that her low weight caused her to miss her interval for 3 years, ensuing in decreased ranges of estrogen and 5 broken bones.
She moreover said that she had suicidal concepts and reduce herself, nonetheless, that no one at Nike “really did anything or said anything.”
Salazar replied to Cain’s video in a press launch to The Oregonian: “Neither of her parents nor Mary, raised any of the issues that she now suggests occurred while I was coaching her. To be clear, I never encouraged her, or worse yet, shamed her, to maintain an unhealthy weight.”
In a Twitter message on Friday morning, Cain acknowledged that she had sought to reconnect with Salazar.
“I wanted closure, wanted an apology for never helping me when I was cutting, and in my own, sad, never-fully healed heart, wanted Alberto to still take me back,” she wrote. “I still loved him. Because when we let people emotionally break us, we crave more than anything their very approval.”
“We quickly fell out of touch this summer,” she added, “and that made the rose color glasses finally fall off. He didn’t care about me as a person; only as of the product, the performer, the athlete.”
Cain obtained help on social media from completely different runners.
“I had no idea it was this bad,” tweeted Shalane Flanagan, the 2017 New York City Marathon winner. “I’m so sorry, @runmarycain that I never reached out to you when I saw you struggling. I made excuses to myself as to why I should mind my own business. We let you down. I will never turn my head again.”
Amy Yoder Begley, a former American Olympian, tweeted that she was kicked out of the Oregon Project after ending sixth in the 10,000 meters on the United States monitor and topic championships.
“I was told I was too fat and ‘had the biggest butt on the starting line,’” she wrote, “This brings those painful memories back.”
Kara Goucher, one different American Olympian who used to teach with the Oregon Project, said on Twitter, “I have stories to match all of Mary’s claims and so much more.”