Nordic skiing: Johaug doping ban extended, dashing hope of Olympic
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[August 22, 2017]
OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian
cross-country skier Therese Johaug's doping ban has been extended by
five months, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on
Tuesday, dashing her hopes of competing in the Olympic Games next
February in Pyeongchang.
The ban, extended to 18 months, will expire in April 2018, CAS said.
Norway's Olympic Committee originally banned Johaug for 13 months
after she tested positive for clostebol, an anabolic steroid, last
September, but the International Skiing Federation (FIS) called for
Johaug won the gold medal in the 4x5km relay at the Vancouver
Olympics in 2010 and also claimed a silver and bronze in Sochi four
years later. She won three golds at the 2015 world championships in
In its ruling, the CAS said Johaug had used a cream bought by a team
doctor in Italy to treat acute sunburn on her lips. The active
ingredients listed on the packaging included clostebol acetate.
"Having reviewed the matter in full, the (CAS) 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 clear doping cautionary warning," the CAS said in its
[to top of second column]
Therese Johaug of Norway celebrates as she crosses the finish line
during the FIS Tour De Ski World Cup cross-country skiing women's
9km climb pursuit free final race on Alpe Cermis, in Val di Fiemme,
Italy January 10, 2016. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo
In a televised news conference, a tearful Johaug said
she had been unfairly treated, reiterating her position that the
drug had only been taken after she asked the doctor about the
legality of its content.
"I'm completely broken. I had a dream of competing at the
Olympics... I can't understand this punishment," she added.
Despite the setback, the 29-year-old said she now aims to return to
competition for the 2018/2019 season, particularly the 2019 world
championships in Austria.
"I want to return to the top of the podium," Johaug said.
(Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Keith
Weir and Christian Radnedge)
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