Three-time Olympic runner Dathan Ritzenhein announces his retirement

Background runner Dathan Ritzenhein announced his retirement on Thursday, closing a race during which he made three Olympic appearances and was also one of the first to question the methods used by his coach, Alberto Salazar , who is serving a four-year doping suspension.

In a farewell post on his social media accounts, Ritzenhein, 37, wrote: I will not be at the starting line, but I will never be far behind. I will not be in a rocking chair or out on the golf course. You'll probably find me behind a timer or cheering on the side of the road.

Ritzenhein leaves the sport as the fourth fastest American marathoner in history; He clocked in at 2 hours, 7 minutes, 47 seconds in Chicago in 2012. He qualified for 2004 and '12 Olympic Games in the 10,000 meters, and also earned a spot in the 2008 Olympic Games marathon.

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It was in the headlines last fall when Salazar, the leader of the Nike Oregon Project team, he was banned for four years for his aggressive experiments with supplements and testosterone. According to the report detailing the circumstances that led to Salazar's ban, Ritzenhein was one of the first athletes to question whether infusions of a supplement called L-carnitine were performed in accordance with anti-doping regulations.

Ritzenhein's career was marred by injuries. In his post, he thanked his coaches and support staff for helping him overcome the ailments.

I kept you very busy! he wrote. I had many setbacks along the way. But I always had people who were there to help put the pieces together and get back to the starting line.

Ritzenhein was a standout in the University of Colorado , where he won a cross country title in 2003 and finished second in the 5,000 meters at the 2004 NCAA Athletics Championships.

It was truly (an) incredible journey, he posted. I am looking forward to the next chapter!

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