Salazar suffered heart attack; condition upgraded

Updated: July 2, 2007, 9:11 PM ET
Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Alberto Salazar, the former champion marathoner who collapsed over the weekend, had his condition upgraded Monday from serious to fair.

A cardiologist at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center said tests now indicate that Salazar had a heart attack while coaching distance runners Saturday at the Nike campus outside Portland, said Lisa Helderop, a hospital spokeswoman.

Salazar, who is alert and talking with his family, told a doctor at the hospital that he has a family history of heart conditions, Helderop said.

Salazar released a statement Monday thanking Nike employees, Oregon residents and the athletic community for their concern and support.

"I look forward to returning to life as a father, coach and trainer as soon as possible," he said.

Salazar, a University of Oregon graduate, won the New York City Marathon three straight years (1980-82) and the 1982 Boston Marathon. He has set six U.S. records and one world record. He is a longtime Nike employee and consultant who trains elite distance runners and has a building named for him on campus.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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