Top News Stories

Recent Videos

Norwegian Credibility Damaged by Arrogance – Therese Johaug Affair Continues

by Ben Andrew

October 19, 2016 – Since Norwegian Therese Johaug’s tearful press conference following her positive test for the banned anabolic steroid Clostebol during an out-of-competition test on September 16, she has been out of the public light. Johaug blames the positive on a cream given to her by Norwegian Team doctor Fredrik S. Bendikson to aid her sun-burned lip, yet Norway’s entire sports bureaucracy remains under fire reports

Therese Johaug wins overall WCup and fabled Crystal Globe [P] Pam Doyle

New allegations from Norway’s TV2 news service claim Johaug herself ignored the clearly marked “doping warning” on the topical cream, which many feel characterizes the arrogance of the Norwegian Nordic team, perhaps its Achilles heel.

This latest development follows a sharp decline in Johaug’s own reputation as well as for the Norwegian Nordic team. The Johaug affair delivers another major blow to the sport’s top nation in the wake of the country’s star male skier, Martin Johnsrud Sundby, recently being stripped of several titles for a doping violation – read more here.

Martin Johnsrud Sundby wins Ski Tour Canada [P] Nordic Focus

Team Norge stepped in then as well claiming blame for Sundby’s over-the-limit Salbutamol levels – a medication he uses to treat asthma. But the onus is on the athlete to remain clean, and now with Johaug in similar hot water, a very slippery slope has emerged.

With Norway’s reputation in the ski community taking more hits over its controversial use of inhalers for the treatment of asthma symptoms, many in the Norwegian media feel that decades of credibility has been ruined over the last few months. This latest incidence with Johaug, a popular personality in Norway, has shocked much of the nation.

Therese Johaug (NOR) [P] Angus Cockney
She has gone into seclusion since both her A and B samples were returned positive. Under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regulations, athletes are responsible for all substances that enter their bodies, and Johaug’s case remains under investigation by Norway’s anti-doping agency. The lack of a suspension being levied as yet, despite the positive test, has sparked international criticism, according to the report.

While Johaug could face a ban for as long as four years, a sanction of at least several months is almost certain. What isn’t clear is what the fall-out of this latest scandal will be for the sport in Norway.

News in report here.
SkiTrax report on the case here.


4 Comments For This Post

  1. Marty Hall, NH, USA says:

    A sample positive–guilty–B sample positive—confirmed guilty—next step–sanction—2 years at least—no meetings, no negotiations —have a good vacation—-that’s how it happen’s to all the other guilty dopers!!!! Is she going to be different—what the hell—the Russians shouldn’t have the corner on cheating and getting away with it.

    Arrogance—I can’t tell you how many times when in Europe we would get on elevators or trams and say a greeting to the Norwegians and get no response.
    In 1976 at a relay in Reit-im-Winkl, BRD the 1st skier on the Norwegian relay, Odd Martinsen, spit at me as he went by on his 1st leg.
    Things are changing and they are more approachable these days from what I hear.

  2. CX, AB, Canada says:

    Nordic skiing today (XC and biathlon) is mimicking cycling from 10 years ago. Seem to be in the ‘omerta’ phase right now. Certainly reasonable that both a team-doctor and an experienced athlete could miss the ‘No Doping’ warning on the box/tube of medication and a guy with self-proclaimed ‘80% lung capacity’ can routinely (and consistently) mop the floor against the rest of the world.

  3. xcskier22, Montana, says:

    Mary, let’s not fall on the regular ‘Russians dope,’ narrative to distract us from the Norwegians, who have been doing this sort of thing for just as long. The only reason this isn’t making more news is because the Norwegian’s have played the ‘it’s our culture, we don’t cheat…’ card. I can’t say for sure how many skiers on the WC are doping. I am sure many people out there are trying to get an edge one way or another. Though I appreciate your consistent stance on doping, even if I disagree with some of your opinions. You are absolutely right, people need to wake the heck up and actually ban Johaug for doping. Sundby was DQ’d and lost some results and money, but not after he was protected for almost two years. Why was he allowed to race after the first positive test? Then he failed another test a few weeks later. He was ALLOWED TO RACE AFTER THAT AS WELL!!!! What the heck is that?? If this was a Russian skier that was caught, we’d be calling for his head!!!

    Here is something I copied and pasted on Fasterskier. This was from an unnamed source, so just a warning, THIS IS NOT MY writing nor did I first share this in the said source. It’s actually quite shocking, telling, and sad what I read in the two links/stories. Essentially, the Swedish man is calling for a blanket ban on the Norwegian National Team for two years for what he calls “clear case of state sponsored doping…” Sound familiar? Here are the links and further comments from the person that posted this. I take absolutely no credit for this. I just found it extremely important.

  4. xcskier22, Montana, says:

    Sorry, of course I meant MARTY not MARY.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.