Anti-Dop­ing Nor­way pro­poses 14-month dop­ing ban for Jo­haug

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Nor­way's anti-dop­ing agency called for a 14-month ban yes­ter­day for cross-coun­try star Therese Jo­haug after she tested pos­i­tive for a steroid she said she took un­know­ingly.

The agency's pros­e­cu­tion com­mit­tee filed charges to the Nor­we­gian sports fed­er­a­tion's dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee, which will make a rul­ing.

Jo­haug, last year's World Cup cham­pion, tested pos­i­tive for closte­bol, a steroid in a lo­tion given to her by the team doc­tor to treat sun­burn on her lips dur­ing high-al­ti­tude train­ing in Italy in Au­gust.

The pros­e­cu­tion com­mit­tee found that Jo­haug took the steroid un­in­ten­tion­ally but in­ves­ti­ga­tor Niels Ki­aer told The As­so­ci­ated Press that "she could have avoided the case by check­ing the medicine," which was marked with the word "dop­ing."

Jo­haug was sus­pended in Oc­to­ber pend­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Ki­aer said her two-month sus­pen­sion would count to­ward the 14-month ban, so that the ear­li­est she could com­pete would be in late De­cem­ber next year, less than two months be­fore the 2018 Win­ter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

"I am pleased that the pros­e­cu­tion com­mit­tee be­lieved in what I've said," Jo­haug said in a state­ment to Nor­we­gian news agency NTB. "But I don't un­der­stand how what hap­pened can be the ba­sis of a 14-month ban."

Kjaer said the dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee's de­ci­sion is ex­pected early next year. That de­ci­sion can be ap­pealed to a na­tional ap­peals body or the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport.

The 28-year-old Jo­haug won gold in the 4x5 kilo­me­ter re­lay at the 2010 Van­cou­ver Win­ter Games, with a bronze and sil­ver at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. She's won seven World Cham­pi­onship gold medals and the over­all World Cup ti­tle twice.

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