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Canadian runner Cam Levins says he trusts Salazar, despite doping allegations

06/17/2015 05:44 EDT | Updated 06/17/2016 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - Canadian distance star Cam Levins says he hasn't lost trust in Alberto Salazar despite recent doping allegations levelled against his American coach.

"I can comment on Galen (Rupp) and Alberto that they've been very trustworthy, there's nothing that I've ever seen that I would attribute to any of these allegations," Levins told Flotrack, a website dedicated to covering track and field.

"I've never been pushed into any sort of grey area that a lot of people have implied. I trust them, they've never given me a reason not to."

The Canadian record-holder in the 10,000 metres spoke to Flotrack following his victory in the 5,000 at last weekend's Portland Track Festival. Attempts by The Canadian Press to reach Levins for comment were unsuccessful.

In a recent story by American investigative journalism group ProPublica and the BBC, former Salazar assistant Steve Magness accused the coach of using doping practices for athletes at the Nike Oregon Project, where Levins has trained for the past two years. Among the allegations, Salazar was accused of encouraging Rupp — the 2012 Olympic silver medallist in the 10,000 — to take illegal drugs.

Salazar and Rupp deny any wrongdoing, and none of the Nike Oregon Project athletes have failed a drug test.

The ProPublica and BBC story said U.S. Olympic distance runner Kara Goucher and at least six other former Salazar athletes and staff members have gone to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency with their concerns. It said USADA has not confirmed or denied any investigations.

Levins was asked how he's handling the stress in the midst of what's become one of track and field's biggest stories.

"I try not to think about it. . . I know it's all over the media, but it hasn't really concerned me specifically and I so I just try not to think about it, think about what I need to do and I know Alberto and Galen are doing whatever they can to try and dispute these allegations and prove them wrong," Levins said.

The 26-year-old from Black Creek, B.C., ran 13 minutes 20.68 to win the 5,000 last weekend, hitting the qualifying standard for the Pan American Games. Levins said he'll run just the 5,000 at Pan Ams, and save the 10,000 for the world championships in August.

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