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Alberto Salazar updated Nike CEO on trials with banned drugs, anti-doping agency says

Banned track coach Alberto Salazar kept Nike CEO abreast of his experiments with performance-enhancing drugs, according to emails referenced in reports published by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

The USADA suspended Salazar for four years after finding that he administered a banned substance and attempted to traffic testosterone. His colleague with the Nike Oregon Project, endocrinologist Jeffrey Brown, was also banned from the sport for the same period, the organization said Monday in a news release that the described the pair as "orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct." 

Reports prepared for USADA by the American Arbitration Association also show that Parker and other Nike executives received emails from Salazar and Brown on their research into improving the performance of the project's elite group of runners. At least one of their experiments to determine whether a topical testosterone cream would result in a positive doping test was done in a lab at Nike's headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, the reports alleged. 

Specifically, Brown informed Nike executives about a June 2009 test in which Salazar personally applied a testosterone cream to his two sons after they had finished running on a treadmill at a Nike laboratory, a summary by the association indicates.

"We are next going to determine the minimal amount of gel that would cause a problem," Brown told Parker in a 2009 email, according to the documents. 

"Thanks for the update on the tests. It will be interesting to determine the minimal amount of topical male hormone required to create a positive test," Parker replied, the summary stated. 

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Nike did not immediately return a request for comment. Salazar denied the allegations and vowed to appeal the findings, saying in a statement that he was "shocked by the outcome."   

"The Oregon Project has never and will never permit doping," added Salazar, considered by many to be America's leading long-distance running coach. "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.

Banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, synthetic versions of the testosterone hormone have for years been used to enhance athletic performance. 

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