Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
Whether Therese Johaug will be able to compete at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics depends on the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which yesterday held a hearing into the cross-country skier’s case. In two cases before the CAS, Johaug has appealed for a reduction to a 13-month ban issued in February by the Norwegian Olympic committee (NIF) in February; and the International Ski Federation (FIS) has appealed for a longer sanction to be imposed.
Johaug returned an adverse analytical finding (AAF) for clostebol on 16 October 2016, after using a cream, Trofodermin, to treat lip blisters caused by sunburn. ‘Having heard the evidence, the Adjudication Committee is of the opinion, as are the parties, that it is not reasonable to assume that the use of Trofodermin in this case would produce a performance-enhancing effect from Clostebol’, read the NIF’s decision (PDF below). ‘The dose of Clostebol was far from sufficient to have any effect on the production of steroids in the athlete’s body encompassed by the steroid module at the time of the sample collection’.
Johaug’s 13-month ban includes her provisional suspension from 16 October 2016, and is therefore scheduled to expire on 17 November this year. An FIS cross-country skiing World Cup event is scheduled to take place in Lillehammer at the end of November and in early December. The FIS Pyeongchang 2018 cross-country qualification criteria are based on points earned at FIS events from 1 July 2016 to 21 January 2018.
As Johaug has been suspended from 16 October last year, technically she needs to earn FIS competition points to ensure Olympic qualification. A one-month extension to her ban would prevent her from earning any points at the Lillehammer World Cup event.
However at an April press conference, head of Norway’s ski team, Vidar Løfshus, said that Johaug would be able to rejoin the team as soon as her suspension ends. A two-month extension to Johaug’s ban would probably destroy her Olympic chances, as Pyeongchang 2018 takes place from 9-25 February 2018.
Johaug’s legal team is led by internationally renowned lawyer Mike Morgan of Morgan Sports Law, who has previously acted for Maria Sharapova, Alberto Contador, Mamadou Sakho, Lee Chong Wei and Lizzie Armitstead. A verdict is expected before August.
Read other articles from this story stream...
The Anti-Doping Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has opened a procedure...
Integrity officers from football’s regulatory bodies will convene at the Chelsea Harbour Hotel in London...