Therese Jo­haug Out of 2018 Olympics

SkiTrax - - Out In Front -

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.”

Therese Jo­haug

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