More Nike Athletes Speak Out on Weight 'Obsession'

Amy Yoder Begley says she was told she had 'the biggest butt on the starting line'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2019 9:10 AM CST
More Nike Athletes Speak Out on Weight 'Obsession'
In this Aug. 21, 2015, file photo, Alberto Salazar watches a training session for the World Athletic Championships at the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

Nike says it had no prior knowledge of elite runner Mary Cain's claims that she developed osteoporosis, broke five bones, missed her period for three years, and began having suicidal thoughts as Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar pushed her to lose weight, per the Guardian. But it says it views "the allegations extremely seriously and will launch an immediate investigation to hear from former Oregon Project athletes." One of them, Canadian Cam Levins, said on Twitter he "knew that our coaching staff was obsessed with [Cain's] weight loss, emphasizing it as if it were the single thing standing in the way of great performances … because they spoke of it openly among other athletes." Other females say Salazar was also obsessed with their weight.

US Olympian Amy Yoder Begley tweeted that she was "kicked out" of the program after she was told she was "too fat" and had "the biggest butt on the starting line" in the 10,000-meter race at the 2011 US championships, where she finished sixth. "I witnessed this. Amy is telling the truth. The culture was unbearable," responded two-time Olympian Kara Goucher. She also retweeted her husband, who wrote that Salazar told Goucher's mother the runner was "still too heavy" after her fifth-place finish at the Boston Marathon in 2011, six months after she'd given birth. "No celebration on her tremendous run, just judgement on her body," Adam Goucher wrote. Coach Steve Magness added that Salazar would "'joke' about using liposuction or removing your appendix for weight loss" and offer "shady diet supplements." Nike says "these allegations are completely inconsistent with our values," per Yahoo. (More Nike stories.)

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