Skip to main content

Kara Goucher: Inside the Secret World of Elite Sport Doping, Abuse & Deception

By March 21, 2024No Comments
Play Video
Episode #821



How do the greatest champions achieve success? How do they stay motivated despite setbacks, injuries, and near misses?

It’s all about playing the long game and being ready when that moment arises. In the words of today’s guest, “Be patient, little lion—you’ll roar.”

This week, I am joined by Kara Goucher, a remarkable athlete and two-time Olympian celebrated for her track and marathon achievements.
She offers a firsthand perspective on the pressures and ethical adversities entwined with her time at the Nike Oregon Project. From the gradual recognition of compromised values to the intricate balance of loyalty and personal integrity, her narrative is both consuming and profoundly significant.

Kara excelled at CU-Boulder, winning three NCAA championships before graduating in 2001. She had a successful professional running career, competing in the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics, achieving top-10 finishes in both marathons. Kara earned a silver medal in the 10,000m at the 2007 World Track and Field Championships and podium finishes at the New York City and Boston Marathons.

Currently, she serves as a track and field analyst for NBC Sports. In her transformative New York Times bestseller, The Longest Race, Kara details a raw and transparent account of the abuse, doping, and deception, encapsulating the omertà of the sportswear titan.

She adeptly navigates doping rumors, deception, and the challenges of being a whistleblower, showcasing her remarkable mental dexterity amidst turmoil.

“We have intuition for a reason. Trust yourself. You have that ability to know what’s right or wrong.”


Today’s conversation delves into her career challenges, including injuries and complex experiences with the Nike Oregon Project. Kara opens up about the pressures of weight management and the ethical dilemmas she faced regarding doping practices. She also discusses the emotional impact of assaults by her coach and the struggle to speak out.

Additionally, Kara reflects on the mistreatment of pregnant athletes by sponsors like Nike, her identity beyond athletics, the importance of advocating for clean sport and athlete welfare, and more.

For those who prefer a visual experience, the conversation is available on YouTube. As always, the audio version streams wild and free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Final Note: This conversation contains discussions about sexual assault, which may be triggering or distressing for some listeners. To seek help or additional guidance, please contact the U.S. Center for Safesport.

This is a powerful discussion. I’m thankful for Kara’s openness and honesty in sharing her story. It takes great courage and confidence to speak candidly, and her willingness to do so has undoubtedly made a significant impact.

I hope you appreciate this inspiring exchange as much as I did.

Peace + Plants,

Listen, Watch, & Subscribe

For 1000s of delicious, customized plant-based recipes & so much more, check out our Plantpower Meal Planner.

For a complete list of all RRP sponsors, vanity URLs & discount codes, visit Our Sponsors.

There are a few simple ways you can support the show and the content we strive to craft and share every single week

Subscribe & Review: Please make sure to review, share comments and subscribe to the show on the various platforms (Apple Podcasts, YouTubeSpotify). This helps tremendously!

Patronize Our Sponsors: Supporting the companies that support the show! For a complete list of all RRP sponsors and their respective vanity URLs and discount codes, click the ‘Sponsors’ tab in the ‘Shop’ menu.

Spread The Word: Help grow our reach by sharing your enthusiasm for the podcast and/or your favorite episodes by posting about it on social media.

Thank The Team: I do not do this alone. Send your love to Jason Camiolo for audio engineering, production, show notes and interstitial music; with additional audio engineering by Cale Curtis and additional music by Moby; Blake Curtis & Dan Drake for video, & editing; graphics by Jessica Miranda & Daniel Solis; portraits by Davy Greenberg, Grayson Wilder & Gizelle Peters; copywriting by Ben Pryor; and theme music by Tyler Piatt, Trapper Piatt & Hari Mathis.

Amazon Disclosure: Third-party books and products denoted on this page and website may be hyperlinked to the Amazon affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.