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Archive for  October 2016

Monday 31, Oct 2016

Spanish Rider Banned For Doping

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The UCI, the world governing body of cycling, has imposed a doping ban of three years and nine months on Spanish rider Alberto Gallego. The Spanish professional cyclist tested positive for Stanozolol just three days into his career.

The 25-year-old was just a few days into his career as a professional rider after joining the Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team when his doping sample revealed the presence of Stanozolol. The cyclist was handed a provisional suspension in January by the UCI and his contract was rescinded by Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team.

In a statement, the Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team said after the provisional suspension was announced that it has decided to rescind the contract of the rider Alberto Gallego after finding about anomalies discovered in the result of a control carried out on January 3, 2016. The statement further reads the rider came into the team on January 1, 2016 and he had not participated in any race on this season’s program.

A few days back, the cyclist was added to the UCI list of sanctions. His ban effective from the date of the test will run until the 25th October 2019, by which point Gallego will be nearly 28 years of age.

In his defense, Gallego had claimed he was the victim of supplement contamination. In an open letter, the Spanish rider said his reaction could have been what it was: incredulity. The rider he has never taken Stanozolol and did not even knew what it is used for and added he now knows that it is more suited for a bodybuilder than a professional cyclist. Gallego said he is also now aware that the banned substance stays in the system for long and it will be illogical to think that he would have used Stanozolol to improve his performances.

Alberto Gallego also remarked he is very well aware of the fact that many would not believe his innocence and claims but he has no doubts about it. Gallego further added he is more than certain after checking once more all the supplements he had used in recent years that Stanozolol does not appear on any of the labels. The cyclist said he therefore assumes he is a victim of supplement contamination.

The Spaniard impressed on the Spanish amateur scene and was ranked number one before he earned a deal with Radio Popular in 2014. Gallego earned his contract with Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team after catching the eye at last year’s Route du Sud where he finished seventh on the queen stage and went on to finish seventh overall behind the likes of Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana.

Manager Juanma Hernandez, while announcing the signing of Gallego, had remarked the cyclist can make very valid contributions to the team. The Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team manager had further remarked the profile of Gallego fits well with our team and added he is a courageous rider who climbs very well and is one of the great young assets of our national cycling.

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Saturday 29, Oct 2016

Rio 2016 Olympics Management Team Criticized For ‘Serious Failings’

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A damning 55-page World Anti-Doping Agency Independent Observers report has criticized “serious failings” in the anti-doping operation at the recently-concluded Rio 2016 Olympics.

The report accused the management team in the Rio 2016 anti-doping department of “a lack of coordination” and said it contributed to putting an almost unmanageable strain on attempts to carry out drug tests. It was disclosed in the report that up to half of all planned tests due to be carried out in the Athletes’ Village had to be aborted on some days as the athletes could not be found. This report also blamed the failings on financial cutbacks, tensions between Rio 2016 and the Brazilian Anti-Doping Agency, and significant staffing changes in the Rio 2016 anti-doping department.

The World Anti-Doping Agency Independent Observers report fiercely criticized the lack of support, training, and information given to chaperones whose job was to notify athletes of testing. It was revealed by the report that Chaperones were often provided with little or no whereabouts information for athletes targeted for out-of-competition testing in the Athletes Village, and therefore, the majority of times had to resort to asking team officials and/or athletes from the same team where the athletes they were looking for were located. It was further added that providing the names of the athletes they were seeking was at best highly inefficient and obviously compromised the ‘no notice’ nature of the testing. It was also said that when initial attempts to find an athlete in his or her room were unsuccessful, chaperones often lacked the training and/or the confidence to follow up with further enquiries and effort to find the athlete in other locations in the Village such as the dining hall. It was also commented in the report many athletes ultimately targeted for testing in the Athletes Village simply could not be found and the mission had to be aborted and up to 50 per cent of planned target tests on some days were aborted in this way.

The observers said many chaperones did not turned up due to lack of basic facilities such as adequate food. It was also revealed that only two blood collection officers were present to carry out 94 scheduled blood tests on one day at the Athletes Village, which highlights the complete lack of doping control staff. It was also said that there was no doping control staff one day and therefore all blood testing planned for that day had to be abandoned. The report also said transport arrangements to enable doping officers to travel to and from venues were “often inadequate, or even non-existent”. The report blasted the Olympics management committee at Rio and said computers and printers needed to receive and print out drug-test orders sometimes did not work and enough log-in accounts were not assigned to doping control personnel even when there were working computers.

The Independent Observers report revealed no out-of-competition testing was conducted in football, while there was little or no in-competition blood testing in many high risk sports and disciplines, including weightlifting. It was also said that more than 4,000 athletes ahead of the Games scheduled to compete at Rio 2016 shockingly had no drug-testing record at all in 2016.

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Thursday 27, Oct 2016

Ban On Rita Jeptoo Doubled

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld an appeal by the International Association of Athletics Federations that doubled two-year ban on Kenyan marathon runner Rita Jeptoo.

Rita became the first high-profile athlete of Kenya to fail a test after she tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug Erythropoietin (EPO) in 2014. The ruling means Rita forfeits her 2014 Boston and Chicago Marathon titles. Jeptoo is now banned until 30 October 2018 and has also been fined 15,000 Swiss francs (£12,396) as a contribution to the legal fees and expenses of IAAF.

The CAS ruling, which came on appeal, means a possible end of Jeptoo’s running career. In its verdict, the CAS said it has doubled suspension on the athlete and declared all of her race results from April 2014 onward null and void, effectively stripping her of a number of wins, including the 2014 Boston marathon. The CAS verdict further reads that Rita has to forfeit any of the associated titles, medals, prize money and appearance money.

The IAAF had appealed that the CAS extend a two-year ban imposed by Athletics Kenya in January, 2015. The CAS said doubling the length of the original ban was justified as the panel had been comfortably satisfied that there are aggravating circumstances surrounding the case. Athletes can be banned for a period of four years over a first offence if there are aggravating circumstances. It was ruled by the CAS panel that it was obvious to it that Rita Jeptoo used EPO as part of a scheme or plan and cited evidence including her long relationship with the unidentified doctor and multiple visits to see him which she hid from her manager and coach. The ruling stated the “undisputed source” of the red blood cell-boosting hormone was an injection by her doctor. The CAS panel also criticized Rita for deceptive and obstructive conduct throughout the proceedings.

The former coach of Rita is currently facing criminal charges in Kenya. He is accused of providing Jeptoo and another athlete with banned substances although CAS said that Jeptoo hid her EPO use from her coach and manager at the time. The former manager of Rita is also facing doping charges, although they relate to him allegedly providing two other athletes, not Jeptoo, with banned substances. Coach Claudio Berardelli and manager Federico Rosa, who are both Italian nationals, have denied the charges.

Jeptoo, one of most successful runners in Kenyan history, was all set to be crowned World Marathon Major Champion for 2014 but the ceremony was called off soon after news of her failed test emerged. She was due to earn a $500,000 US bonus for leading the World Marathon Majors series standings for the combined 2013 and 2014 seasons and won back-to-back Boston and Chicago titles in 2013.

The 33-year-old remarked she may have been prescribed banned substances at a local hospital after a road accident.

Jeptoo spoke last week about her plans to make a return to the competition once her initial ban of two years expires. Noah Busienei, Jeptoo’s partner, remarked on Wednesday they were expecting that the punishment might be extended after the International Association of Athletics Federations appealed what it felt was a lenient ban imposed by the Kenyan track federation. Busienei remarked they had said they would add two years and she was aware of that and further commented there is no other avenue available to appeal the decision and we shall decide the way forward.

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Tuesday 25, Oct 2016

Lyman Good Removed From UFC 205 Fight Card

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Lyman Good, the inaugural Bellator welterweight champion, has been removed from the UFC 205 fight card at Madison Square Garden.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency notified the UFC of a potential doping violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample. The anti-doping test was Good was conducted on October 14, 2016, just under a month before the UFC makes its New York City debut on November 12.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has not disclosed the substance for which Good tested positive. Under anti-doping rules, USADA cannot reveal that information until after the athlete releases details or until after the adjudication process has taken place.

Good has been provisionally suspended by USADA. The only New York City resident on the card, Good was scheduled to fight Belal Muhammad in New York at UFC 205 and now he UFC is currently seeking a replacement to fight Muhammad. Making a debut in the UFC last July with an impressive second round knockout over Andrew Craig, the Puerto Rican American mixed martial artist is best known for his time spent with Bellator, where he was the inaugural Bellator Welterweight Champion. He currently competes in the welterweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Born and raised in the Spanish Harlem section of New York, Lyman Good joined mixed martial arts after her mother felt it would be right for his son to get into MMA to release his anger. Considered one of the top welterweight and middleweight fighters in the Northeast, Good moved up the MMA ranks quickly and also became a Sensei/instructor for Tiger Schulmann mixed martial arts in Manhattan.

In 2005, Lyman Good started his fighting career at the Ring of Combat promotion. He fractured his hand in the beginning of his second fight but went on to win the match by TKO against John Zecchino. Good also participated in three kickboxing matches in Chuck Norris’s World Combat League and won all three.

Lyman scored a takedown early in the first round in the finals of the Bellator Fighting Championships welterweight tournament took place at Bellator XI. He trapped Omar De La Cruz against the cage, and pounded his way to a TKO victory. In his first title defense, Good fought rising star Ben Askren and went on to lose a Unanimous Decision losing his Bellator Welterweight Title. Good debuted in Bellator’s fourth season welterweight tournament quarterfinals against prospect Chris Lozano on March 5, 2011 and won the fight via unanimous decision.

Good was expected to be a participant on the UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter: Team Edgar vs. Team Penn but lost his fight to get into the house. He made his promotional debut in the Ultimate Fighting Championship as a short notice replacement against Andrew Craig on July 15, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 71. He filled in for an injured Edgar Garcia and won the fight by TKO in the second round. The figher was expected to face Omari Akhmedov on December 10, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 80 but pulled from the bout in late October and was replaced by Sérgio Moraes.

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Sunday 23, Oct 2016

WADA President Calls On Japanese PM To Raise Funding

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Speaking at the World Forum on Sport and Culture in Tokyo, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Sir Craig Reedie has called on governments to increase their funding to the fight against drugs in sport during a robust defense of the anti-doping organization.

Sir Craig Reedie specifically called on Japan for stepping up their contribution after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to support the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) efforts to combat doping. The Briton said after delivering his speech Prime Minister Abe should reinforce the message to increase funding if he has influence with Governments. Reedie also commented the World Anti-Doping Agency operate on a budget of less than $30 million (£24 million/€27 million) a year with the world’s doping problems to solve and he would appreciate Japan taking the initiative.

The WADA President added the IOC matches Government contributions dollar for dollar. Reedie added it would be marvelous if, as a result of the troubles of the last two years and as a result of the splendid Olympic Games in Tokyo, the Government decided that this is an investment that they are prepared to make. WADA is funded 50-50 by Governments and the IOC at present with both sides under pressure to step-up their respective contributions.

Craig, after the problems WADA faced with the anti-doping authorities and laboratories ahead of Rio 2016, said he has confidence that Tokyo would be more successful. Reedie added he is very confident that what will happen here, in the build-up to Tokyo and through Tokyo, is in excellent hands. The WADA chief added the Organizing Committee is fully aware of their responsibilities and the manpower that they will have to deliver to conduct the whole anti-doping program and also said much of that will be run by the Japan Anti-Doping Agency, and they are one of the very best national anti-doping agencies in the world. Reedie also said it is hard in his view to imagine a better place to be four years out than Tokyo.

In the last few months, many IOC members have criticized WADA for not doing enough to combat alleged state-sponsored doping in Russia. Some IOC members even called for the body to play less of a regulatory role and more of a direct testing one.

In its defense, WADA chief defended the response of WADA to the Russian doping crisis. Reedie added WADA commissioned two independent reports, with the second of these, chaired by Richard McLaren of Canada due to be completed towards the end of this month. Sir Craig Reedie also emphasized on the wider progress achieves over the last year, including the advent of the athlete biological passport testing system. Reedie also said WADA has punched well above its weight and added we can be quite proud of what we’ve accomplished on modest means. Reedie also said he (while there is always room for improvement) would ask those that question our contribution to consider what’s been achieved; and, to imagine where sport would be if there was no WADA – no global leader of clean sport.

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Friday 21, Oct 2016

Doping In Top-Level Sports Recommended By Norwegian Professor

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Jan Ove Tangen, a professor of sports sociology at the University of South-Eastern Norway, has advocated controlled doping use for eliminating suspicion and providing equal opportunities to contenders.

In an opinion piece in Norwegian newspaper Forskning, Tangen remarked Norwegian cross-country top-level skiing has given itself further and further into the grey area in its hunt for medals and added some have even gone into the forbidden territory, and some of our most renowned skiers have now been convicted of doping. Tangen radically proposed that doping should allowed and as accepted.

In recent months, the clean image of Norwegian athletes has been tarnished. The success of the all-time leading Olympic nation in Nordic combined and cross-country skiing has been bruised by dark strains on its “clean” reputation. A few months back, the Finnish anti-doping agency called for a closer review of the practices of the Norwegian Ski Federation. A physician for the Swedish national ski team and member of the Swedish Olympic Committee has communicated to the media that the Therese Johaug case undermines the credibility of all medical professionals in sports and called for a discussion of ethics and morals and a curb on the ‘medicalization’ of cross-country skiing.

Norway’s top male cross-country skiier and 2014 Sochi Olympic bronze medalist Martin Johnsrud Sundby was recently given a suspension of two months after he tested positive for Salbutamol, an asthma medication.

Tangen made these comments Therese Johaug, one of Norway’s most decorated female cross-country skiers of all times, tested positive for the steroid Clostebol. It was later revealed by the Norwegian ski federation that the substance came from a cream that was given to Johaug by team doctor Fredrik Bendiksen to treat sunburn on her lips during high-altitude training in Italy.

The professor of sports sociology said the legalization of doping may make competition more equal and would even save the necessity of running numerous anti-doping agencies and spending of a fortune by them. Tangen added only athletes get punished most of the times while coaches, managers and sports federations usually continue unscathed. Tangen also criticized media, sponsors, politicians, and the public for setting too high expectations on athletes to win awards. The sports sociology professor also commented that it is rather difficult to draw a clear line between what constitutes permissible performance-enhancing methods and what is doping that result in lengthy bans and destroyed careers. Tangen also said doping can be used as a legal solution for continuous performance improvements, provided that the intake happens under the control of specialists.

The University of South-Eastern Norway professor said top level sports are already largely unhealthy and imply a tremendous stress for the human body. Tangen added doping is seen by many as a means for keeping athletes healthy. Tangen rhetorically said doping is not really more unjust than the fact that some of the athletes have been blessed with superior genes over their competitors or the fact that a country may have more resources and knowledge to for talent-hunting and performance development.

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Wednesday 19, Oct 2016

Russian Weightlifter Loses Olympic Silver In Doping Case

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced Russian weightlifter Apti Aukhadov has been stripped of a London 2012 silver medal after it was confirmed he had tested positive following the re-analysis of samples.

Aukhadov, who is from the Chechnya region, is the latest athlete to be officially sanctioned by the IOC following retesting of more than 1,000 doping samples from the London Olympics and 2008 Beijing Games.

The 23-year-old has been ordered to return his medal, which he won as a 19-year-old in the British capital. Aukhadov, the under-85 kilograms lifter, failed retests for anabolic steroids Turinabol and Drostanolone. The weightlifter also faces the risk of losing the World and European titles he won in 2013 as well as his world bronze medal won in 2015. Aukhadov becomes the tenth weightlifter to have been formally confirmed as failing a Beijing 2008 or London 2012 retest by the IOC. The Russian weightlifter lifted a total of 385kg to narrowly miss out on first place in London behind Adrian Zielinski of Poland, who managed the same total but had a higher clean and jerk mark. The weightlifter from Poland was barred from Rio 2016 after failing a drug test ahead of the Games.

It was revealed by an IOC disciplinary commission report that Aukhadov initially replied that he was “shocked” by the retest result and did not accept the anti-doping violation finding. The report added Aukhadov did not attend the opening and retesting of the backup “B” sample and also did not attended the hearing, or put up any further defense. The three-man panel said the athlete beyond alleging to be shocked does not bring forth any explanation in respect of the fact that two different anabolic steroids were found in his sample.

The IOC ordered the International Weightlifting Federation to adjust the London weightlifting results. The IWF has also been asked by the IOC to consider any further sanctions against Aukhadov, who could face a ban of at least two years. His gold medals from the 2013 world championships and European championships could also be annulled by the IWF.

Iranian Kianoush Rostami now stands to be promoted to silver after a total haul of 380kg and Tarek Yehia of Egypt should rise from fourth to the bronze medal position after managing 375kg.

The IOC also announced Ukrainian pole vaulter Maksym Mazuryk is also disqualified after finishing 18th in qualifying at London 2012. The pole valuter also tested positive for Turinabol after his sample was tested with the most up to date methods. Mazuryk, a world junior champion in 2002, had earlier claimed a silver medal at the 2010 European Championships and set a personal best of 5.88 metres indoors in 2011. A graduate of the Bubka Sports Club, Mazuryk was tested in Kyiv in July 2012 before the games. He accepted the positive finding and did not request a retesting of the “B” sample.

In another development, American weightlifter Norik Vardanian has tested positive for a banned substance in a sample he provided while competing for Armenia at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The IWF said he produced a positive test for the anabolic steroid Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone.

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Monday 17, Oct 2016

Former Cyclist Reveals Ways Of Exploiting TUE Loopholes

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Former professional David Millar in a revealing opinion piece published in the New York Times titled ‘How to get away with doping’ has provided a detailed account of his personal use of use of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) during his career.

Millar offered an account about the powerful effects of Kenacort and how the World Anti-Doping Agency and the UCI, the world governing body of cycling, have failed in their oversight of the list of drugs available with a Therapeutic Use Exemption and in their administration of the application process.

Millar said Kenacort was so powerful that it was ultimately destructive. The former cyclist said the substance, apart from being a catabolic agent, would also suppress the immune system, making you more susceptible to infections. Millar said he took Kenacort only twice after 2001: for the 2002 Vuelta a España and the 2003 Tour de France. The ex-cyclist went on to reveal that he used to take an initial 20 to 40 milligram dose, and then topped up with 10 to 20 milligrams about 10 days later both times in order to prolong the effects into the final week of the three-week stage race and to avoid too rapid a descent off it. Millar added he was taking this powerful, potentially dangerous drug as a performance enhancer, yet he was doing so within the rules — thanks to the T.U.E. loophole.

Millar was arrested by French police in 2004 and confessed to making the use of Erythropoietin (EPO) in 2001 and 2003. The UCI imposed a ban of two years on him in August 2004 and Millar was stripped of his 2003 individual time trial world title and was fired by his Cofidis team.

Millar made a return to racing in 2006 with Saunier Duval–Prodir but would leave the team at the end of 2007 season to join the newly created Slipstream–Chipotle outfit. The American team and its owner Jonathan Vaughters on a strong anti-doping stance with Millar becoming a spokesman for ‘clean cycling’.

Millar wrote in the New York Times article that he served a ban of two years but he was at least free of all the deception and disgust. The Scottish former professional road racing cyclist said he was determined to do everything in his power when he returned to the sport for preventing the next generation of riders having to make the decisions he had made. Millar said telling his story is his way of helping to prevent other athletes’ careers being poisoned as his was. The former professional cyclist also wrote he believes the “the biggest races are today being won by clean riders.”

The Scottish former professional road racing cyclist added the Fancy Bears hack of the World Anti-Doping Agency and the release of Therapeutic Use Exemptions for athletes such as Team Sky’s Tour de France winners Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome has opened the world’s eyes to a disturbingly gray area in sporting law: the therapeutic use exemption, and shown the system is open to abuse.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Former Cyclist Reveals Ways Of Exploiting TUE Loopholes

Saturday 15, Oct 2016

More State-Sponsored Doping Anticipated By WADA

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Recently-appointed World Anti-Doping Agency director general Olivier Niggli has remarked an expanding investigations staff will be on the lookout for state-sponsored cheating in other nations after Russia’s widespread anti-doping violations at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

In an interview, Niggli remarked it has happened in one country and he believes it would be naive to think it is the only country. The director general of WADA said we have to have our eyes really open and also make sure we act on intelligence and information we might get.

State-directed manipulation of drug-testing results at the Moscow anti-doping lab from at least 2011 through the summer of 2013 was discovered through a report commissioned for WADA. More than 100 Russian athletes, including all but one member of the track and field team, were not allowed to participate in this year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Niggli, a 46-year-old Swiss lawyer who replaced David Howman on July 1, remarked the World Anti-Doping Agency will have conversations with FIFA about testing at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Niggli was hired as the legal director of WADA in 2002 and added the title of finance director two years later before he left for a law firm in 2011. Niggli made a return to WADA two years ago as chief operating officer.

Niggli added it is still sufficiently far away to hope that things will have changed and improved in Russia. The World Anti-Doping Agency director general also remarked it is very important that we be able to work with the Russians to try to set up a system that is called compliant and that will provide some safeguards so that everybody regains confidence in what is going on there.

Niggli also rejected a suggestion by Russian President Vladimir Putin that athletes with therapeutic use exemptions be excluded from major competitions. The WADA director general said he does not think it is meaningful and remarked he thinks every human being has a right of being treated for medical conditions.

Niggli praised Major League Baseball, the NFL, and the NHL for their anti-doping programs that are subject to labor laws and negotiated with their unions. Niggli also said the World Anti-Doping Agency accepts decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport to cut the suspension of Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova from two years to 15 months. Sharapova, a winner of all four Grand Slam tournaments, tested positive for the heart drug Meldonium, added to the banned list this year. Niggli however remarked it was slightly surprising that at that level she would not get warned properly by her entourage.

In another development, WADA has joined hands with Astellas Pharma Inc and announced a global agreement to partner on the prevention of misuse and abuse of medicines for doping in sports. Astellas will help WADA in identifying compounds solely developed by Astellas or its affiliates with the potential for sport-related doping abuse. It will also cooperate in sharing relevant information to aid WADA in the organization’s development of detection methods for these compounds.

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Thursday 13, Oct 2016

World’s Best Cross-Country Skier Returns Positive Test

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Therese Johaug, world’s best cross-country skier, has tested positive for doping. Johaug and the Norwegian Ski Federation were informed of the test result.

Johaug tested positive for Clostebol, which is prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency. The Norwegian Ski Federation explained that the explanation for the presence of the substance is that Therese was prescribed a cream of type Trofodermin by Fredrik Bendiksen, the Norwegian Ski Team’s doctor, to treat sun-burnt lips that she had gotten during high-altitude training in Italy in August. The doctor reportedly assured Johaug before applying the cream that it did not contain any substances forbidden by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Bendiksen said he had failed to notice that the cream Trofodermin included the banned substance Clostebol, a synthetic androgenic steroid which can enhance physical performance. The Norwegian Ski Team’s doctor added he will do everything he can to make sure Therese Johaug does not get punished because she used a cream which he gave.

This is the second big controversy concerning doping by wrongful medication in Norwegian cross-country skiers. Martin Johnsrud Sundby was stripped of world champion titles and suspended for his asthma medication in July.

According to a statement released by the Norwegian Ski Federation, the seven-time world champion tested positive in an out-of-competition test on September 16 and was informed of the result on October 4.

The 28-year-old Johaug said she is completely devastated and upset to have landed in this really trying and surreal situation. The cross-country skier said it is unfair even if she, as an athlete, responsible for the medications used by her.

Johaug had won gold in the 4×5-kilometer relay at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, as well as silver and bronze medals at the Sochi Games. She won her first individual gold medal in the 30 km mass start race at the 2011 World Championships in Oslo and also won gold in the 4 x 5 km relay, bronze in the 7.5 km + 7.5 km double pursuit and fourth in the 10 km individual start. Johaug won her second individual gold medal in the 10 km freestyle race at the 2013 World Championships. The Norwegian cross-country skier who has competed for the clubs Tynset IF and IL Nansen along with compatriot Martin Johnsrud Sundby became the first Norwegians to win the Tour de Ski when they won the women’s and men’s competitions in the 2013-14 edition of the race. Therese subsequently won the overall and distance competitions in the 2013–14 FIS Cross-Country World Cup. In 2015, she enjoyed her most successful World Championship performance in Falum and took three gold medals: two in individual events (the 15km skiathlon and the 30km classic mass start) and one as part of the Norwegian women’s team in the 4x5km relay. Johaug won the Birkebeinerrennet ski marathon in 2015 with a time of 2.41.46.

It is still not clear whether Johaug, the reigning World Cup champion, will be suspended ahead of the season that starts next month.

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