Los Angeles (AFP)

Former track and field coach Alberto Salazar, suspended for four years for doping "incitement", denies allegations of abuse or discrimination by former athletes of the Nike Oregon Project training group, acknowledging however a language "hard" towards many of them.

In disgrace, since his suspension which he has just appealed to the CAS, Salazar is under fire from several riders for his training methods in the Nike Oregon Project, which ended the American equipment manufacturer. October 11th.

For example, last week, athlete Mary Cain revealed in the New York Times that she was the victim of physical and mental abuse in the group as a result of a regime imposed by Salazar.

Because of the pressure, the one who claimed to have thought about suicide had become "increasingly thin". She had no menstrual period for three years and had broken five bones due to osteoporosis.

In the wake of Mary Cain, other former Oregon project runners such as Kara Goucher, Amy Yoder Begley and Jackie Areson have criticized Salazar's training methods.

Begley, who ran the 10,000 meters at the 2008 Olympics, tweeted that she was then considered "too big" and that she "had the biggest behind on the starting line."

In a statement in the Oregonian newspaper on Tuesday, Salazar acknowledged using such language, but insisted that it was an integral part of the life of an elite athlete.

"On occasion, I may have made insensitive or harsh comments during those years when I helped my athletes to undergo intensive training," said Salazar.

"If an athlete was hurt by one of my comments, it was totally unintentional to me, and I'm sorry, but I challenge the idea that any athlete has been abused or discriminated against. when participating in the Oregon Project. "

"Maybe it has to change because I've always treated men and women the same way, treating my female athletes differently would not be in their personal interest," he concluded. .

© 2019 AFP