June 24 2015
The distance running coach has been facing doping allegations for the last month—and he finally responds.
Amid many spectacular performances at this weekend’s USATF Indoor Track and Field Championships, there was controversy. Brooks-sponsored athlete for Team USA Minnesota and two-time cancer survivor, Gabe Grunewald, won the women’s 3,000 on Saturday with a blistering last lap kick. Despite concern by an official regarding Grunewald clipping the shoe of Jordan Hasay, who is coached on the Nike Oregon Project by Alberto Salazar, it was determined that there was not enough contact to rule for disqualification. Two appeals filed by Salazar were subsequently denied. Grunewald was ruled the 3K champion.
However the case was re-opened twenty minutes later and ruled in favor of Salazar, disqualifying Grunewald from the race. USATF claimed to review “additional photo evidence” in the last appeal. Because of the disqualification, Grunewald has not been named to the world team for the 3K, which takes place in two weeks in Poland. Instead second place finisher, Shannon Rowbury (also coached by Salazar) and Hasay would be the next to be named to the world team.
Many track and field athletes have been vocal about their dismay over the decision. Following the end of the women’s 1500, many of the competitors held hands while walking off the track in a show of solidarity to Grunewald. On Sunday, Grunewald tweeted “Overwhelmed by the support of my fellow athletes today. Thank you to those of you who stand up for what is right. “
We want to know your opinion! What do you think? Did Gabe Grunewald deserve to be disqualified? Leave a comment with your thoughts or Tweet them to us at @womensrunning.