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Kara Goucher: 'Justice will come' in doping investigation of ex-coach

LOS ANGELES -- Kara Goucher, who fell one spot shy of making the U.S. Olympic marathon team in Saturday's trials, said "justice will come" out of an ongoing U.S. Anti-Doping Agency investigation of her former coach Alberto Salazar and his Nike Oregon Project group.

Goucher, a 2012 Olympian in the marathon and a two-time world bronze medalist on the track, and her husband, Adam, a former distance runner, were the most high-profile named sources in a 2015 investigation by ProPublica and BBC that alleged Salazar flouted and manipulated anti-doping regulations. Salazar issued a 12,000-word open letter in response, denying any wrongdoing.

After Saturday's race, in an interview by reporters that was filmed by letsrun.com, Goucher calmly said, "I've done all I can do at this point. I believe in Travis [Tygart, head of USADA]. I don't wish them ill will. The first time I went to USADA I said, 'All I want them to do is stop doing what they're doing.'"

Goucher finished a painful 14th at the 2014 New York City Marathon and underwent meniscus surgery in January 2015. At 37, some observers considered her a long shot for the 2016 Olympic team. But she stayed close enough to keep the top three women on guard in the late going and finished just over two minutes behind winner Amy Cragg on a warm day in downtown Los Angeles.

"People ask, 'How did you come back?' Letting go of that s--- is how I came back," Goucher said, referring to unburdening herself about her time with Salazar and their subsequent war of words. "I lost 200 pounds of f---ing baggage I've been carrying around. They can't touch me anymore.

"Do you think everything I know came out in the BBC documentary? There will be a day."

To a separate group of reporters, including ESPN.com, Goucher said, "What I'm proudest of is the last year, speaking out against what I saw in the sport. Not backing down, and coming back against all odds."

Her comments came on a day when a Salazar-coached athlete who was at the focus of the ProPublica/BBC probe, 2012 Olympic 10,000-meter silver medalist Galen Rupp, won the men's trials in 2 hours, 11 minutes, 12 seconds in his marathon debut.

Informed of that win in the finish-line media interview area, Goucher said, "I'm not really surprised. I ran for Alberto for seven years. He doesn't have you run if you're not ready. Hopefully, [Rupp] did it the right way."

Rupp was asked about Goucher's comments in a packed news conference and responded, "I think all I can say is, I've always been an advocate for clean sport, and I've worked really hard over the years to get where I'm at today, and I'm cooperating with whatever officials I need to cooperate with."

Salazar was similarly concise when approached by ESPN.com and one other reporter and said he was not surprised at Goucher's comments.

"We made our statement," Salazar said. "We're concerned with Rio at this point. We're moving forward."

Goucher spoke publicly about the allegations at last year's U.S. Track and Field championships and urged others who might have knowledge to come forward, then said she would no longer comment in order to allow the investigation to proceed unimpeded.

Cragg won Saturday's race in 2:28:29. Desiree Linden and a heat-depleted Shalane Flanagan earned the other two spots on the women's team. Athens 2004 silver medalist Meb Keflezighi, 40, qualified for his third Olympic marathon, and Jared Ward took the third slot for the men.

Linden's coach, Kevin Hanson, said it did not bother him to hear questions about the investigation on a day of celebration for those six runners.

"You have to expect those questions every single time," Hanson said. "I don't know if [the allegations] are accurate, but our sport looks silly if we avoid them."