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Marit Bjørgen to Return to World Cup Racing Amidst Norwegian Team Controversy

by John Symon

November 10, 2016 – Norwegian XC ski superstar Marit Bjørgen will return this season promise her coaches as cited by Norway’s Aftenposten and Poland’s The Gazeta Wyborcza. Bjorgen took time off, first for the birth of her son, Marius, and then for a hip injury. But both Norwegian head coach Vidar Løfshus and women’s coach Roar Hjelmeset are confident that the multiple Olympic and World champion will be back this winter after an 18-month break.

Marit Bjoergen (NOR) [P] Nordic Focus

And this might be exactly when Norway needs a hero on skis: recent months have seen two other Norwegian ski stars announce that they tested positive in doping controls. First Martin Johnsrud Sundby twice tested over the authorized limit for salbutamol, a medication he uses to treat asthma. Then Therese Johaug tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid clostebol.

Marit Bjoergen (Nor) [P] Nordic Focus
Bjørgen will likely be on the start line at Beitostolen on November 18- 20 for a 10km classic race reports The Gazeta. She brings her young son, Marius (10 months), almost everywhere with her now and plans to take him to seven of 15 World Cup competitions. It seems that she will not participate in this season’s Tour de Ski, but it will compete at the Norwegian championships in the first week of February.

Sundby (l) and Johaug [P] Pam Doyle
Presently, the shadow of doping is weighing heavily on the Norwegian ski team. Apart from Sundby and Johaug’s announcements, there have been media reports that 69 percent of Norwegian Olympic medal winners in Nordic skiing were on asthma medications according to Adressa – including Bjoergen.

A Norwegian TV station recently did a poll and found 52 percent of respondents believe their ski team should be punished with 17 percent favouring a one-year sanction reports The Gazeta.

Bjoergen takes the Sprint Cup globe [P] Nordic Focus
Bjorgen, 36, is a six-time Olympic champion with 14 world championship victories and 90+ World Cup victories making her the record-holder for both women and men. Two seasons ago, Bjorgen became the first athlete to capture all three World Cup crystal globes – overall, distance and sprint – twice in her career. The Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang in 2018 will probably be the epilogue of an outstanding career.

Aftenposten (Norwegian) here.

The Gazetta (Polish) here.

Adressa (Norwegian) here.

2 Comments For This Post

  1. Marty Hall, NH, USA says:

    That 69% of Olympic medal winners, you made no reference to the fact that Marit Bjorgen was one of those 69%—–and you are trying to make her like she is the spark and lifesaver of all those dopers in the Norwegian program—HELLO OUT THERE—doping is out of control at all levels—cheating athletes, bribes at all levels for all kinds of things that are illegal—-numbers of dollars passing hands that you would not believe the amounts, cheating doctors, cheating coaches—and leaders at the top of all organizations, that when it is all added up have helped hide 1000s of test results starting in the 60s with the Communist countries.
    PS—do you feel secure in what the outcome or sanction for Johaug’s cheating will end up getting her—as it drags on and on and on—maybe we will all forget about it—-IT WAS ONLY CHAPSTICK!!??

  2. Editor, Ontario, Canada says:

    Hi Marty,

    Apologies for missing that fact about Bjoergen – now added. That certainly was not our intention. We advocate for clean sport with no exceptions. We are posting an update to the Therese Johaug case shortly.


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