"You deserve an apology because no one was there to take care of you during the time you spent at the Portland Oregon Project, I would have liked to be that person." The touching words of Cam Levins, a Canadian foundry who also knew the training center of Alberto Salazar, to Mary Cain arrive probably a little late. They have the merit to exist.
Former prodigy of the American middle-distance, who had shone over 1,500m at the national championships (always very high) in 2014, the 23-year-old gave a poignant testimony to the New York Times on Thursday, denouncing the methods of his coach of at the time, suspended four years by the American anti-doping last October.
A system supported by Nike
"I was physically and emotionally abused by a system made by Alberto and backed by Nike," she said, referring to the brand's comma sponsorship of the Oregon Project, a training center. located … within the firm's headquarters. After the penalty imposed last month on Alberto Salazar, Nike had announced the closure of the structure.
Among the horrors denounced by the young woman, repeated humiliation under the gaze of his comrades about his alleged overweight. Forced to lose weight, Mary Cain confessed to not having had her period for three years, which resulted (among other things, psychological sequelae being difficult to quantify) at a rate of estrogen at the lowest and five fractures. In addition to suicidal thoughts. And Nike in all this? They have "really done nothing or said," she says.
The American brand reacted with a rather light email release sent to CBS this Friday. "We take these allegations very seriously and will immediately launch an investigation, to hear the former athletes of the Oregon Project," writes Nike, "at Nike we always try to put the athlete at the center of everything and these claims are totally incompatible. with our values. " While stating that neither Mary Cain nor her parents had raised with the mark these allegations before. The soap opera Salazar undoubtedly reserves unpleasant surprises.