Team USAs former rising track star Mary Cain said Nike Oregon Project staff pressured her into weight loss that resulted in her period stopping for three years and caused osteoporosis
A former Nike Oregon Project athlete has revealed how her period stopped for three years and she broke five bones due to osteoporosis after being pressurised to lose weight by disgraced coach Alberto Salazar.
Mary Cain, who qualified for the 2013 world athletics championships as a 17-year-old and was considered a once-in-a-generation star, also said that she suffered from suicidal thoughts and had self-harmed.
Speaking to the New York Times, Cain, now 23, said: 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 and endorsed by Nike.
Cain said that when she first arrived at Nike as a 16-year-old the all-male staff convinced her that to get better I had to get thinner and thinner and thinner.
Alberto was constantly trying to get me to lose weight, she added. He created an arbitrary number of 114lbs and he would usually weigh me in front of my teammates and publicly shame me if I wasnt hitting weight. He wanted to give me birth control pills and diuretics to lose weight.
I felt so scared and alone and I felt so trapped and I started to have suicidal thoughts, she added. I started to cut myself. Some people saw me cutting myself. And nobody really did anything or said anything.
When she told her parents they immediately bought her a plane ride home. I wasnt even trying to make the Olympics any more, I was trying to survive, she added.