By Ken Reed
Kare Goucher is a world-class distance runner. She’s won medals at the track and field world championships, the New York City Marathon and the Boston Marathon, among others. She just missed qualifying for the Olympic Marathon last year despite being in her late 30’s. And she’s done it all drug-free.
Fed up with drug use in distance running, she turned in her former coach, Alberto Salazar of the Nike Oregon Project to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The USADA investigation is still taking place.
Goucher says she never has used performance-enhancing drugs despite seeing others use them throughout her career.
“Unburdening myself helped me tremendously,” says Goucher, who trained under Salazar from 2004-11. “It was dragging me down.”
Salazar is a legend in the distance running field. He won the New York City Marathon three times and has coached Olympic medalists.
USADA chief executive Travis Tygart, who played a major role in the takedown of Lance Armstrong, considers Goucher a hero.
“It takes a tremendous amount of courage to take a stand for clean sport, and all those who value fair play should be extremely grateful for the contributions Kara and Adam (Kara’s husband who’s also a distance runner) have made to the fight against doping. They are an inspiration for clean athletes’ rights everywhere.”
Meanwhile, Goucher continues to run on.
“I love running so much,” says Goucher.
“It’s the greatest gift I’ve had in my life. This has been a tougher battle than a lot of battles I’ve faced. … I just want to do my part in helping it be better.”
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of FansPrint
- League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.