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Doping suspension for skier after ‘steroid in lip cream’

Therese Johaug

Therese Johaug is one of Norway’s most decorated female cross-country skiers, having won three Olympic and 11 World Championship medals

Norwegian three-time Olympic cross-country skiing medallist Therese Johaug has been given a provisional two-month suspension pending a full investigation into her positive doping test.

The defending World Cup champion tested positive for the steroid clostebol.

The Norwegian ski federation said the substance had come from a lip cream.

“The fact that she has been suspended means she has some degree of fault,” the attorney for the Norwegian Anti-Doping Agency said.

“Which degree of fault is what we will now investigate.”

Johaug said she would not appeal against the decision and would instead focus on “working for a full acquittal”.

The suspension means Johaug will miss the start of the World Cup season.

The Norwegian ski federation said the steroid had been in a lotion given to her by team doctor Fredrik Bendiksen to treat sunburn on her lips during high-altitude training in August.

The team doctor has since resigned, describing the violation as his “personal mistake as a doctor”.

The Norwegian Anti-Doping Agency is investigating the case further and will determine the appropriate penalty for both Johaug and Bendiksen.

Under international anti-doping rules the seven-time world champion could face between a two-month suspension and a four-year ban.

Johaug’s anti-doping violation comes three months after Norway’s top male cross-country skiier and 2014 Sochi Olympic bronze medallist Martin Johnsrud Sundby was given a two-month suspension after testing positive for salbutamol, an asthma medication.

Norway have dominated men’s and women’s cross-country skiing in recent years, winning 11 medals at the last Winter Olympics, including five golds.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/winter-olympics/37703011