Mary Cain was busying herself, becoming the fastest girl in the generation. She was the youngest American athlete who made it to the team of World Championships. All these dreams shattered when she joined the Nike Oregon Project.
She claimed that “I joined Nike because I wanted to be the best female athlete ever; instead, I was emotionally and physically abused by a system designed by Alberto Salazar and endorsed by Nike”.
Mary Cain showed a heartbreaking video recently. It showed how Salazar and the rest of the coaches pushed her while she was in the project.
It was later revealed that she has broken five bones. To add to that, she even missed her period for three years while under Salazar.
This young athlete continued, “He would usually weigh me in front of my teammates and publicly shame me if I wasn’t hitting weight.
“He wanted to give me birth controls and diuretic, and diuretic isn’t even allowed in track and field.”
How did Mary Cain emerge herself as the fasted girl in the country?
She appeared from Bronxville, New York in 2011 as a high school athletic star. Cain broke the 1,500-meter record in 4:17.82.
She was still a freshman by then and got another record breakout in 2013 and decided not to take her NCAA eligibility instead. She went for her dream by signing a deal with Nike Oregon Project. Under her coach’s training, Salazar, she was able to get two national titles namely 2013 IAAF World Championship final and the 2014 World Junior Championships as a gold medalist.
But despite all these gains, she exposed her depression during that time. It even led to suicidal thoughts and went to the point of cutting herself. The coach didn’t do anything about it also though Cain mentioned it to him.
Steve Magness, a former assistant of Salazar, witnessed the situation. His job was to make a female athlete lose weight. He reacted to it and explained that her body fat was low already.
The coach told her, “I don’t care what the science says I know what I see with my eye. Her butt is too big”.
In 2016, Mary Cain decided to quit from the Nike Oregon Project and trained as a professional runner in New York, but during 2016-2019, she wasn’t racing as often as she wanted to.
Just this year, Salazar was banned by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) due to rules violations. She will not be competing for four more years.
On the other hand, Nike’s president appealed on the situation. The coach appealed to the court and Nike is backing upon him.
During an interview, he said that that he supported the health and welfare of his athletes, particularly of Mary Cain. In October, Nike changed the team of Oregon Project before the Chicago Marathon. An assistant coach of Salazar, Pete Julian, will take over his place. The company has yet to respond regarding the issue.