Therese Johaug Out of 2018 Olympics
In August, a final verdict by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that Norwegian cross-country-skiing star Therese Johaug, 29, is out of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Games, as she is mandated to serve an 18-month ban for doping, which expires next April.
The former Olympic champion, who won the overall FIS World Cup title twice, initially received a 13-month suspension by the Norwegian Olympic tribunal after traces of the anabolic drug Clostebol were found in her urine resulting from the use of a sun-cream product containing the banned steroid during a training camp in Italy last year.
The tribunal’s position was that Johaug was not completely responsible because the cream was approved by the Norwegian team doctor, who has since resigned. But the International Ski Federation (FIS) did not agree and appealed, seeking a longer suspension and citing Johaug’s failure “to read the doping warning label printed in red on the package.” Athletes are responsible for what they ingest.
The three-member CAS judging panel sided with FIS and did not agree that Johaug was blameless, as there were clear warnings on the packaging. “The [judging] panel noted that Ms. Johaug failed to conduct a basic check of the packaging, which not only listed a prohibited substance as an ingredient, but also included [a] clear doping cautionary warning,” said a court statement.
“I am heartbroken. I had a dream to get to the Olympics,” said Johaug, in tears at a news conference following the verdict. “I think it is unfair; I feel I was unfairly treated.”