By Gene CherryDOHA, Qatar (Reuters) – American Alberto Salazar, who has coached some of the world’s top distance runners including British multiple Olympic and world champion Mo Farah, has been banned for four years for doping violations.The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said Salazar’s punishment was for “orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct” as head coach of the Nike Oregon Project (NOP), a camp designed primarily to develop U.S. endurance athletes.The 61-year-old was quickly stripped of his accreditation for the world athletics championships in Doha at the request of the U.S. track and field federation, the sport’s governing IAAF said in a statement. Salazar said he would appeal USADA’s decision, and sportswear giant Nike said in a statement that it would stand by him.“I am shocked by the outcome today,” Salazar said in a statement. “My athletes and I have endured unjust, unethical and highly damaging treatment from USADA.” “The Oregon Project has never and will never permit doping. I will appeal and look forward to this unfair and protracted process reaching the conclusion I know to be true. I will not be commenting further at this time.”Yesterday, Farah said he was relieved that the investigation was over. “I have no tolerance for anyone who breaks the rules or crosses a line,” he said. UK athletics said in a statement that its own investigation in 2015, which cleared Farah to work with Salazar, was “restricted to the interaction of the Nike Oregon Project with Mo Farah and not an anti-doping investigation.”Salazar stopped coaching Farah in 2017 when the runner decided to move back to England. Farah said at the time that the doping investigation was not the reason they parted ways.USADA said that Salazar, who also coached American Olympian Matthew Centrowitz among other top distance runners, trafficked banned performance-enhancing substance testosterone to multiple athletes. Salazar also tampered or attempted to tamper with NOP athletes’ doping control process, the agency said after concluding its four-year investigation.Jeffrey Brown, who worked as a paid consultant endocrinologist for NOP on performance enhancement and served as a physician for numerous athletes in the training programme, also received a four-year ban. REACTION IN DOHASeveral members of NOP are competing in the world championships, including newly-crowned 10 000m champion Sifan Hassan.“I am shocked to receive the news of today’s ruling, especially during this time in which I am fully preparing for my next race in the world championships in Doha,” the Dutch runner said in a statement.“I like to state that this investigation is focussed on the period before I joined the Oregon Project and therefore has no relation to me. I was aware of the ongoing investigations when I joined the team and have always had a clean conscience, knowing we are being monitored to the absolute fullest by USADA and WADA.”None of the athletes Salazar has worked with was mentioned in Monday’s report.“The athletes in these cases found the courage to speak out and ultimately exposed the truth,” Travis Tygart, USADA chief executive officer, said in a statement. “While acting in connection with the Nike Oregon Project, Mr Salazar and Dr Brown demonstrated that winning was more important than the health and wellbeing of the athletes they were sworn to protect.”Salazar said that Tygart’s comment was misleading and he had never put winning above the athletes’ safety.This is completely false and contrary to the findings of the arbitrators, who even wrote about the care I took in complying with the World Anti-Doping code,” he said.Nike, which funds NOP, the nation’s most elite long-distance running training centre in Portland under a $460 million, 26-year sponsorship deal with US Track and Field, said it would support Salazar’s appeal“Today’s decision had nothing to do with administering banned substances to any Oregon Project athlete. As the panel noted, they were struck by the amount of care Alberto took to ensure he was complying with the World Anti-Doping code,” it said. “Nike does not condone the use of banned substances in any manner.” Salazar was a celebrated distance runner, winning three consecutive New York City marathons starting in 1980.
Even after extending its application deadline, the Viterbi Student Council’s Executive Board received only one application, causing the council to become inactive for this school year.The VSC is an umbrella organization that coordinates monthly meetings between the presidents and board members of various Viterbi organizations and the Viterbi administration.Paul Ledesma, associate director of undergraduate admissions for Viterbi and last year’s VSC faculty adviser, said he was not sure why there was so little interest in the VSC Executive Board this year.It is the responsibility of the outgoing Executive Board to organize and publicize elections, Ledesma said.“It’s possible that it wasn’t advertised adequately by last year’s leadership, but it’s also possible that students who may have run for the position found it more important to hold leadership positions within their specific engineering student organizations,” Ledesma wrote in an email.William Wu, last year’s VSC vice chair, said the organization had slowly moved away from its original role as a resource for students.“I think [VSC] is becoming obsolete because [organizations] were just going to it for money instead of using it as a resource and building a relationship with the administration,” Wu said. “It could have a big impact and could really make engineering present at USC. Right now, I don’t think there’s a need for it. Maybe there’s not a want for it.”Internal issues might also have played a role in this year’s suspension of the Executive Board, according to Wu.“The Board had its own separate communication issues to deal with [and] VSC also had to learn how to adapt to the regulations set by the administration, which previous Board members thought was always challenging,” Wu said.Wu noted that he doesn’t think an overarching committee is necessary.Traditionally, the VSC treasurer oversees the VSC Funding Board, which is responsible for allocating funds to various Viterbi clubs. This year, the Funding Board will continue to function as a separate entity despite the lack of a VSC Executive Board.“The Funding Board is operating as it always did,” Ledesma wrote. “With the exception of a few procedural changes and an updated, streamlined application, there are no changes to the Funding Board’s operation.”In fact, some club presidents feel that a separate funding board is more efficient than the funding board that was part of VSC in previous years.“The only change that has been made is pretty positive. They streamlined the [funding application] procedure,” said Lynn Ho, president of the Society of Women Engineers. “There’s only one form to actually get the money. Before, you would apply and it was harder.”The new funding board is also functioning well without a VSC Executive Board, according to those involved.“I’m kind of the person who is communicating between the [administration] and the student organizations right now, since there’s no VSC,” said Ken Diedrich, director of the Funding Board.Ledesma said the transition to a separate funding board has been a smooth one.“Ken made sure to inform student organization leadership of the change and reassure them the funding sources would remain unchanged at our first event of the year,” Ledesma wrote.After speaking with the leaders of various Viterbi organizations, Ledesma said he believes these groups will be unaffected by the lack of a VSC Executive Board.It has yet to be determined whether or not VSC will be active next year, but it will largely be based on student interest, Ledesma added.He wrote, “If students want to get VSC back up and running, I look forward to working with them,” he wrote.
When Bryce Holmgren was hit by a Jessica Dreswick fastball earlier this season against Boston College, there was no fanfare, no display of pain or anguish.She tossed her bat toward Syracuse’s home dugout, spun on her heel and jogged to first base. It was nothing new for the Roland, Iowa, native, who leads the team with 12 hit by pitches.Holmgren paces Syracuse (18-17, 4-10 Atlantic Coast) in nearly every offensive category — first in hits (43), batting average (.434) and runs batted in (25) — and is the only player on the Orange to total more walks (20) than strikeouts (15). Part of the reason she is so adept at getting on base, Holmgren said, has been her patience in the batter’s box. It’s also led to her hit-by-pitch habit.“I try not to lean in, but also it just kind of happens,” Holmgren said. “Things in softball just happen so fast, you don’t really think too much about it. I just try to let it hit me.”After leading the team in hit by pitches last season with 11, Holmgren wasted no time in grabbing the team-lead this year, too. After getting plunked in six of the first nine games of the season, Holmgren started the year on base a lot, whether it was by choice or not.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textGetting hit by pitches is a relatively new trend for Holmgren, who said that she didn’t get hit a lot when she was younger. Even at Western Kentucky as a freshman in 2016, Holmgren was hit three times in 45 games. Only when she arrived at Syracuse did she start to get hit more. With 23 hit by pitches in 85 career games at SU, she’s developed a knack for reaching base unconventionally.Holmgren believes that her tendency to get hit stems from a few factors. As a left-handed batter, she said her right elbow at times hangs close to or over the plate when she’s in the box. Like Dreswick, most pitchers are right-handed. Holmgren often faces pitches on the inner-half of the plate to crowd her and sometimes pitchers lose control. Holmgren’s willingness to “take one for the team” is another factor that sets her apart in her propensity to get hit.“I wouldn’t consider it unlucky, I would consider it lucky,” head coach Mike Bosch said. “Honestly, we just want to get on base any way.”Holmgren’s consistency in reaching base was clear earlier this season when she broke the program record for consecutive games reaching base. Holmgren’s streak of 46 broke the previous record of 32 and has since ended, but the WKU-transfer has already begun a new one, reaching base in eight-consecutive games.Teammate Alicia Hansen has played 138 games for the Orange but has been hit by a pitch just once in her career. The reason, Hansen said, is because she’s “more inclined” than her teammates to move out of the way of pitches.“Bryce will stick her arm out for it,” Hansen said. “It’s funny, because sometimes she’ll get hit and the umpire will call her back, and then she’ll get a hit, and the joke’s on you. You should want her to just get walked because you might be giving up extra bases if you pull her back.”With the Syracuse offense struggling to find consistent sources of power and contact hitting alike, Holmgren has been the lone source of consistency throughout the season. Her batting average has dipped slightly since beginning the year, but her on-base percentage still leads the conference.Holmgren has remained steady getting on base all season long, even if it’s not in the most conventional way.“One of our mottos is ‘find a way,’ so if you’re up, find a way on,” Hansen said. “No matter whether you bunt, get hit by a pitch, dropped third strike … taking one for the team sure, because it’s a baserunner that could mean a lot.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 10, 2018 at 7:43 am Contact Eric: firstname.lastname@example.org | @esblack34