Rupp's battle not over, by Chris Chavez

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Galen Rupp, photo by PhotoRun.net


Chris Chavez is an up and coming journalist, who will be working for Sports Illustrated in the fall. He has recently finished a stint at ESPN. 

We have asked Chris to provide us with some of his views of the weekend in Eugene, from podcasts to columns.

Here is his first, on the lingering allegations that Galen Rupp must contend with after his fine victory, numero seven in a row, last night. 

It is what we see in other professional sports, and it is now coming to athletics. 

Unfortunately, some media here are in attendance to see what they can squeeze out of Salazar, NOP and those aggrieved parties. 

More to come...


Rupp's battle not nearly over


EUGENE - The Hayward Field crowd went silent at 8:10 p.m. as the men's 10,000-meter competitors stepped on to the track and eyes fell to American record holder Galen Rupp. The 29-year-old has been the subject of recent doping allegations against his coach Alberto Salazar in recent reports by ProPublica and the BBC. 


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Galen Rupp, photo by PhotoRun.net

One fan in attendance yelled in encouragement for Rupp and it was as if the rest of the approximately 8,000 fans in attendance took their cue to cheer for the former son of Oregon. there were no boos and any plans for a protest never happened. 


Rupp took off with the other 24 competitors and did what he does best for 28 minutes and 11 seconds - he ran. And when it was all over, he went over and hugged Salazar.


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Galen Rupp and Alberto Salazar, photo by PhotoRun.net


On the podium, he looked physically beat and still put a smile on and thanked the Oregon fans for the continued support before heading into the bedlam in the media tent. 


"It's been hard, I'm not gonna lie," Rupp said. "It's been difficult to focus, but I'm really happy that report came out yesterday and I stand behind it 100 percent. I believe in a clean sport and I think the truth will prevail."


As noted by Sports Illustrated's Tim Layden, Rupp relied on the same lines throughout the media frenzy and he did look uncomfortable at times when asked a question. He would field a question regarding some of the allegations and then give himself a break by answering a race-related question. Almost five minutes later, it was all over. 


Rupp and Salazar reconvened in the warm-up area and carried out their usual business with a cool-down before heading out to the Wild Duck for a celebratory dinner. Whether it was in the stands or even at the restaurant, the atmosphere just did not seem right. People whispered. People joked. People knew. And throughout it all, the Oregon Project carried themselves like nothing ever happened with smiles and laughs on their faces.


The focus shift's to Sunday's U.S. Championship 5,000-meter run. Rupp will return to the track and then go through the same questioning. With seven national titles at 10,000-meters, Rupp has gone above and beyond in proving himself strong on the track. It's off the track where he's facing his toughest battle yet and he's holding up for now. 


He told the media that he's never had to go through something like this and never wants to again. Unfortunately, it's not over. it's going to keep happening again and again beyond China.

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