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NADO urges Ethiopian athletes to quit Coach Salazar

The Ethiopian National Anti-Doping Organization (ETH NADO) has issued a strongly-worded directive to Ethiopian athletes to terminate any direct or indirect work relationship with the known Athletics coach Alberto Salazar. Coach Salazar was recently banned from any athletics activities for not less than four years in connection to a series of accusations related to doping violation.

On Tuesday October 20, 2019, NADO announced, in a press release sent out to all media outlets in Ethiopia that all athletes who have a working relationship with Coach Salazar must terminate it immediately since the Coach was found to be guilty of various doping violation including tampering with various anti-doping campaigns around the world. According to NADO, the decision has been made after a four year investigation process carried out by the US Anti- Doping agency. And the Agency has ascertained that Salazar has an involvement in the trafficking of various prohibited substances for many years.    

Former American long distance runner, Salazar was slapped with a four-year ban from athletics following the anti-doping violation detailed by the accusing agencies. According to NADO’s statement, the IAAF has also sent a letter to the Ethiopian NADO to follow up over Ethiopian athletes who have a working relationship with the Coach.

NADO also underlined that any athlete keeping its attachment with Salazar will be penalized under the rule and regulation of both IAAF and NADO (Anti-doping directive article 2/10). The directive stipulates up to two years imprisonment for violation of the aforementioned article.

Nevertheless, several Ethiopian athletes are believed to have attachments with Coach Salazar either directly or indirectly.

Salazar coached many prominent athletes including British four time Olympic champion Mo Fara (from 2011 to 2017). However, Fara parted ways with Salazar in the 2017, while the latter was under investigation by the US Anti-doping Agency. Coach Salazar has been active leading Dutch-Ethiopia athlete Sifan Hassan in the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championship. Sifan won gold in the 10,000 meters at the World Championship in Doha on Saturday.

Nonetheless, she appeared to be absent from the case that involved Salazar although he is currently the head Coach for her world athletics championship campaign.  Coach Salazar is an American track coach recognized for multiple victories in the New York City Marathon and Boston Marathon victory. Salazar was also the head coach of the Nike Oregon Project in Portland. He also won the IAAF Coaching Achievement award in 2013 in Monaco.