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CU Buffs cross country program facing independent inquiry over training methods

U Cross country coach Mark Wetmore
U Cross country coach Mark Wetmore
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The University of Colorado Boulder’s cross-country program will undergo an independent inquiry over allegations of unhealthy practices related to body composition.

CU Boulder spokesman Steve Hurlbert confirmed Friday that, “An independent, comprehensive fact-finding inquiry is currently underway of the CU Boulder cross-country program based on allegations pertaining to its use of body composition analysis, training methods and overall culture.”

The investigation was initially reported by Runner’s World.

“CU Boulder has taken these allegations seriously and acted swiftly in response,” Hulbert said in a statement. “CU Boulder and its athletics department requested the assistance of the University of Colorado system office to conduct the inquiry. While the inquiry is ongoing, to ensure the integrity of the process and respect the participation of the past and present athletes, coaches, and staff, CU Boulder and the athletics department will not comment until it is complete. Results of the inquiry will be provided to CU Boulder’s athletic director and chief operating officer for any subsequent determination on personnel or policy.

“We continue to support our student-athletes while the review process continues.”

According to Runner’s World, the allegations were brought to the school’s attention by Kate Intile, a former CU runner who spoke out in a recent Washington Post story about mental health for athletes.

In the article, Intile said runners had to undergo a monthly “body composition test” where a clinician would pinch their bodies as they stood clad in a sports bra and running shorts.

Intile said the practice led to eating disorders and other mental health issues, and also alleged runners were encouraged to compete through injuries.

CU’s cross-country team, coached by Mark Wetmore, is headed to Oklahoma for Saturday’s NCAA Championships.

Wetmore has won eight NCAA titles since he was promoted to head coach in the fall of 1995. Since coming to Boulder, Wetmore has guided CU runners to 27 individual NCAA titles, 42 conference titles, 470 All-American honors and 29 NCAA podium finishes.

Staff writer Brian Howell contributed to this report.

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