Nordic cham­pion Jo­haug sus­pended over dop­ing

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

OSLO: Nor­way’s cross coun­try skier Therese Jo­haug, a for­mer Olympic gold medal­list, has been sus­pended for two months af­ter fail­ing a drug test, the Nor­we­gian anti-dop­ing agency said yes­ter­day. The seven-time world cham­pion tested pos­i­tive for traces of the banned an­abolic steroid closte­bol dur­ing an out-of-com­pe­ti­tion con­trol on Septem­ber 16. The steroid was con­tained in a lip cream called Tro­fo­der­min, which she used to treat burns dur­ing a train­ing ses­sion at al­ti­tude in Italy late Au­gust. The tem­po­rary sus­pen­sion is pend­ing a final ver­dict, Nor­way’s anti-dop­ing com­mit­tee, in a state­ment. The use of an­abolic steroids is pun­ish­able by a four-year ban.

Jo­haug’s at­tor­ney Chris­tian Hjort told TV2 this week that the Tro­fo­der­min tube had been pro­vided in its orig­i­nal pack­age, which in­cludes a warn­ing show­ing that the prod­uct is on the list of sub­stances pro­hib­ited by the World Anti-dop­ing Agency.

Na­tional ski­ing team doc­tor Fredrik Bendik­sen has taken re­spon­si­bil­ity and re­signed last week from his post.

Hjort said Jo­haug re­spected the de­ci­sion to im­pose a tem­po­rary ban. “We will now fo­cus on the main case which is to prove her in­no­cence,” he said. The sus­pen­sion of 28-year-old Jo­haug will last un­til De­cem­ber 18, rul­ing her out of the first race of the World Cup in Ruka, Fin­land, on Novem­ber 26 and 27, a race she won in 2015. The skier has won seven world ti­tles, in­clud­ing three last win­ter (skiathlon 2x7,5 km, 30 km clas­sic and re­lay 4x5 km). She also has three Olympic medals, in­clud­ing one gold un­hooked with the re­lay at the Van­cou­ver Games in 2010.

It is the sec­ond dop­ing in­ci­dent to shake the Nor­we­gian fed­er­a­tion re­cently af­ter cross coun­try skier Martin Sundby was sus­pended for two months and stripped of his 2015 over­all World Cup and Tour de Ski ti­tles for unau­tho­rised use of med­i­ca­tion to treat asthma. — AFP

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