The anti-doping agency of Norway has called for a doping ban of 14 months on cross-country star Therese Johaug.

Johaug, last year’s World Cup champion, tested positive for Clostebol, a steroid that was included in a lotion given to her by the team doctor for treating sunburn on her lips during high-altitude training in Italy in August. The Norwegian cross-country skier who has competed for the clubs Tynset IF and IL Nansen remarked she is not guilty and even asked the doctor if it had any ingredient that was on the doping list and added the doctor said no.

Team doctor Fredrik Bendiksen stepped down from his job after taking the blame for the positive test. Bendiksen said he only read the ingredients that were printed on the box and added it is his responsibility and personal mistake as a medical doctor. Bendiksen said he had given Bendiksen said he had given to Johaug and remarked she is innocent.

Anders Solheim, the head of the anti-doping agency, had earlier said the matter would be treated with the “highest priority.” Solheim added all aspects of the matter must be disclosed in the best possible way, also facts that support the athlete, so we can present it to the body’s prosecution committee for review.

It was found by the prosecution committee that the cross-country star took the steroid unintentionally and not to enhance performance but investigator Niels Kiaer said that she could have avoided the case by checking the medicine that was marked with the word “doping.”

The skater had a urine test on September 16, and the Norwegian anti-doping agency informed her of the finding on October 4. In October, Johaug was suspended pending the investigation. Kiaer further remarked the suspension of two months imposed on Johaug would count toward the ban of 14 months. This means Johaug could compete in late December next year, which will be less than two months before the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. The ban she could face would be retroactive to October 18 and endure until December 18, 2017, just two months before the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Kiaer added decision of the disciplinary committee is expected early next year. The decision can be appealed to a national appeals body or the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

In a statement, Johaug remarked she is pleased that the prosecution committee believed in what she had said. However, she added but she does not understand how what happened can be the basis of a 14-month ban.

The 28-year-old Johaug won seven World Championship gold medals and the overall World Cup title twice. She won gold in the 4×5 kilometer relay at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, with a bronze and silver at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Johaug won gold in the 4 x 5 km relay, came sixth in the 15 km pursuit at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. She won her first individual gold medal in the 30 km mass start race at the 2011 World Championships in Oslo and also went on to win the gold medal in the 4 x 5 km relay, bronze in the 7.5 km + 7.5 km double pursuit.

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