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Distance runner Mary Cain sues former coach, Nike for weight-shaming

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Distance runner Mary Cain is suing Nike and her ex-coach for $20 million, alleging she was emotionally abused for years and recurrently humiliated concerning the measurement of her breasts and bottom.

Cain — a 25-year-old New York native who joined Nike’s Oregon Project as a 16-year-old phenom in 2012 — filed the lawsuit in opposition to her former coach Alberto Salazar and the sports attire large Monday in Multnomah County Circuit Court, the Oregonian reported.

The submitting claims Salazar was obsessive about Cain’s weight and would compulsively monitor her meals consumption and drive her to weigh herself in entrance of others.

“Salazar told her that she was too fat and that her breasts and bottom were too big,” the lawsuit alleges.

Cain additionally accused Salazar of inflicting her to get so famished that she stole power bars from teammates.

The girl as soon as dubbed the “fastest girl in America” turned to her mother and father for help, however Salazar then grew weary of the interference, Cain’s lawsuit claims.

Alberto Salazar.
“[Alberto] Salazar told [Mary Cain] that she was too fat and that her breasts and bottom were too big,” the lawsuit alleges.
Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal/ZUMAPRESS.com

“He prevented Cain from consulting with and relying on her parents, particularly her father, who is a doctor,” mentioned Kristin West McCall, a Portland-based legal professional representing the once-rising monitor star.

Cain, who grew to become the youngest American at age 17 to make a World Championships group, detailed the alleged abuse in a 2019 gut-wrenching video for the New York Times.

“I joined Nike because I wanted to be the best female athlete ever,” Cain mentioned. “Instead, I was emotionally and physically abused by a system designed by Alberto and endorsed by Nike.”

Mary Cain and Alberto Salazar.
Alberto Salazar allegedly wished Mary Cain to get right down to 114 kilos and publicly shamed her if she didn’t make weight.
Kevin Morris/Corbis by way of Getty Images

Nike’s all-male employees was satisfied that Cain wanted to get “thinner and thinner and thinner,” she mentioned.

Salazar wished Cain to get right down to 114 kilos, she mentioned, and publicly shamed her if she didn’t make weight.

The strain finally prompted her to develop into depressed, develop an consuming dysfunction and generalized nervousness, in addition to post-traumatic stress dysfunction. She additionally had suicidal ideas and began reducing herself, she mentioned within the video.

Mary Cain.
Mary Cain alleges Nike knew concerning the alleged abuse by Alberto Salazar however didn’t step in.
Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal/ZUMAPRESS.com

“And nobody really did anything or said anything,” an emotional Cain recalled.

Nike introduced it was investigating Cain’s claims after her explosive video, which got here one month after the corporate shut down its athletic coaching and monitor program often known as the Oregon Project.

The program was disbanded after Salazar was banned from the game for 4 years by the US Anti-Doping Agency for trafficking testosterone.

Cain alleges Nike knew concerning the alleged abuse by Salazar however didn’t step in.

“Nike was letting Alberto weight-shame women, objectify their bodies, and ignore their health and wellbeing as part of its culture,” McCall mentioned. “This was a systemic and pervasive issue. And they did it for their own gratification and profit.”

A court docket upheld Salazar’s four-year ban from monitor and area final month, the Oregonian reported. He denied Cain’s allegations in an announcement to the newspaper two years in the past.

“Neither of her parents nor Mary raised any of the issues that she now suggests occurred while I was coaching her,” Salazar mentioned on the time. “To be clear, I never encouraged her, or worse yet, shamed her, to maintain an unhealthy weight.”

Salazar claimed Cain “struggled to find and maintain” her supreme weight, whereas Nike claimed she requested to be allowed again on the group after she left in 2015, the Oregonian reported.

Salazar couldn’t be reached for remark, in accordance with the newspaper.

Alberto Salazar an Mary Cain.
Alberto Salazar reportedly prevented Mary Cain from consulting with and counting on her mother and father, notably her physician father.
Don Ryan/AP

Nike, in the meantime, advised The Post in an announcement Wednesday that it doesn’t touch upon pending litigation.

“Nike is committed to positively affecting the future of sport for women and girls and we are doing more in this space than ever before,” the corporate mentioned in an announcement.

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