Nordic champion Johaug suspended over doping
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