Following a four-year ban handed down to long-time coach and project director, Alberto Salazar, Nike has confirmed that it is shutting down the Oregon Project.
Nike Chief Executive Officer Mark Parker said in a statement “This situation, along with ongoing unsubstantiated assertions, is a distraction for many of the athletes and is compromising their ability to focus on their training and competition needs. I have therefore made the decision to wind down the Oregon Project.”
Salazar has denied wrongdoing and has said he will appeal. Although, according to a report by Bloomberg, Nike “will continue to support Alberto in his appeal.”
An independent arbitration panel found that Salazar helped traffic testosterone, a banned substance, and tampered with evidence. However, the panel found no evidence that performance-enhancing drugs were ever used on Oregon Project athletes.
With the aim of promoting American long-distance running, Nike’s Oregon Project was bankrolled by Nike, and established in Beaverton, Oregon in 2001. The Oregon Project team folded on October 10, 2019 after the four year ban was handed down to coach Alberto Salazar.
Nike added that it will assist current runners involved in the project to find alternative training arrangements.