Kara Goucher says Alberto Salazar sexually assaulted her during massages

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Kara Goucher says Alberto Salazar sexually assaulted her during massages

Former Nike Oregon project runner and Olympian says it was her sexual assault allegations that led to former coach ’s lifetime ban from . Goucher makes the revelation in her new book, “The Longest Race,” which was released Tuesday. In an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” that aired Tuesday morning, Goucher said Salazar sexually assaulted her two different times while giving her massages. She says the first time was in Italy in 2006 and the second incident happened years later in Lisbon, Portugal. “I was in a hotel along with Alberto in Rieti, Italy, and he was giving me a post-workout, prerace, what he would call ‘a flush,’ and it just felt wrong,” Goucher, 44, told ABC.

“I was thinking, ‘There’s no way he’s touching me like that, I’m imagining this, he’s just a bad masseuse.’ But really I was just sort of frozen, not knowing what to say or do or accept that this was happening.” Salazar, 64, denied Goucher’s allegations in a statement to “Good Morning America.” “Any claim that Ms. Goucher was sexually assaulted by me is categorically untrue,” Salazar said in his statement, adding: “I have never sexually assaulted Ms.

Goucher and never would have done so. The accusation is deeply hurtful and abhorrent and contrary to my fundamental beliefs as a husband, father and deeply devout Catholic.” The U.S. Center for SafeSport, a Denver-based independent nonprofit that responds to reports of misconduct within the U.

S. Olympic and Paralympic sports, permanently banned Salazar from coaching due to “sexual misconduct” and “emotional misconduct” violations. Salazar, who at that time was serving a four-year ban from the United States Anti-Doping Agency, denied the allegations and appealed the SafeSport ban, but it was . The specific sexual misconduct allegations against Salazar were not previously known because SafeSport does not release details of its rulings. The New York Times reported that an arbitrator found it was more likely than not that Salazar had sexually assaulted an athlete on two different occasions.

Nike, which sponsored the Oregon Project training group before shutting it down in 2019, also issued a statement to “Good Morning America.” “Sexual misconduct has no place in sports or society and is something we stand vehemently against,” Nike’s statement said. “Alberto is no longer a contracted coach, and we shuttered the Oregon Project several years ago,” Nike added. “Mr. Salazar did not engage in any doping of his athletes and not a single Oregon Project athlete was found to have violated the rules.

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