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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