Three-time Olympic medalist and seven-time world champion in cross-country skiing Therese Johaug, 29, will no longer be able to compete for Norway at the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, according to the Associated Press. On Tuesday, the AP reported that the Court of Arbitration Sport extended her doping ban until April 2018, which is two months after the Winter Games are set to take place.
Johaug’s doping case concerns the use of a lip cream meant to treat sunburn. Her doctor had given it to her and said that the contents of the cream were free of any banned substances. But in September Johaug tested positive for a type of steroid found in the cream.
“I am heart-broken,” Johaug said at a recent news conference. “I think it is unfair, I feel I was unfairly treated.”
The Norwegian Olympic Committee originally banned her for 13 months starting in October 2016, considering the fact that she wasn’t fully at fault.
In March, the International Ski Federation (FIS) challenged the decision and argued to extend Johaug’s ban to 16 to 20 months, arguing that she held more responsibility in the matter. The medication was “unknown to her and was purchased in a foreign country” so she should have been held more accountable, according to the FIS.
The Court of Arbitration ended up giving Johaug an 18-month suspension, claiming that the 29-year-old should have seen the warning labels that revealed the banned steroid in the lip cream.
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“Johaug failed to conduct a basic check of the packaging, which not only listed a prohibited substance as an ingredient but also included clear doping cautionary warning,” the court said in a press release.
Johaug has won gold, silver and bronze medals throughout her Olympic career. In 2010, she helped Norway snag the crown in Vancouver by being one of the legs in their 4 x 5-kilometer relay. In the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, she earned second and third place in the 30-kilometer freestyle and 10-kilometer classical races, respectively.