Distance runner Mary Cain accused Nike and their former coach Alberto Salazar of misconduct in a $20 million lawsuit filed this week, The Oregonian first reported.
why it matters: Cain, 25, had a promising career, becoming the youngest American athlete to make the World Championships team in 2013 at the age of 17. She alleged in the lawsuit that she suffered continued emotional abuse by Salazar after she joined the Nike Oregon Project in 2012, AP noted on Tuesday. She accuses Naik of knowing this and failing to intervene. Cain said it affected her physical and mental health.
What are they saying: Kristen West McCall, a Portland attorney representing Cain, alleged that “Nike was allowing Alberto to allow women to lose weight, objectify their bodies, and ignore their health and well-being as part of their culture, ” According to for multiple reports.
- “It was a systemic and pervasive issue. And they did it for their own satisfaction and profit,” McCall said.
For the record: Neither Nike nor Salazar could be immediately contacted for comment, but they had previously denied Cain’s allegations, which came to international attention in November 2019, when she appeared in one. New York Times Video Op-Ed.
- At the time, Nike described Cain’s allegations as “deeply disturbing” and “completely inconsistent with our values.”
- The company announced in October 2019 that the company was discontinuing its Oregon athletic training and track program after Salazar was banned from the sport by the US Anti-Doping Agency for smuggling banned substances.
- The United States Center for SafeSport issued another ban to Salazar in 2020 following allegations of sexual and emotional misconduct, and he was subsequently barred from athletics indefinitely, runners world report.