By Admin – Steroidal.com
There is nothing more satisfying than stopping a cheater. But what if the person didn’t cheat and we stopped them anyway? For Norwegian cross-country skier Therese Johaug, this is more than just a musing? Denying any knowledge of using anabolic steroids, Therese Johaug has found herself being accused of steroid abuse thanks to a positive presence of clostebol found in her urine.
Therese Johaug defends herself by passing the blame to the team doctor, a man by the name of Fredrik Bendiksen. Her claims are that the actions of the team doctor in giving her a cream that he claimed was permitted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (also known as WADA). That cream ended up containing clostebol in it, causing the tests run on her to be positive instead of negative. Putting her trust completely in the National Women’s Cross Country Ski Team’s doctor ultimately resulted in her being disqualified, despite her having no way to prevent the situation from occuring.
At all points during the process, Therese Johaug has declared that she is in no way guilty of what she is being accused of. She insists that she specifically asked if the product was on the doping list and was told clearly and definitely no from her doctor.
A Surprising Turn Of Events
Far from refuting the accusations, Bendiksen fully acknowledged that he had made a mistake and claimed responsibility for the error. Appearing for a news conference in front of reporters, he claimed that it was carelessness on his part that led to the suspension. This means that Bendiksen could be suspended for up to four years. However, given the circumstance and the fact that he had immediately admitted the mistake, it is far more likely that his suspension will be reduced. Along with resigning from his position as the physician for the team, he has also pledged to do what he can to help Johaug to get the suspension lifted.
A Not So Simple Solution
So everything is said and done, right? Wrong. Even though Bendiksen admitted his mistakes publically, overturning Johaug’s suspension is not so simple. The reason why the suspension can not be lifted has to do with the harsh policies put into place by the WADA. Because motive can never truly be established, the WADA holds the athlete responsible for doping even if it is not their fault. From their point of view, they can never figure out if Johaug was doping up herself or was duped by her physician.
In the end, it all comes down to the topical cream that had been sold to Bendiksen and used by Johaug. Known as Trofodermin, it was purchased from a pharmacy in the Italian Alps. The reason for the ointment was for Johaug’s sunburned lips. In the end, what ended up causing the tests to be positive was the fact that the Trofodermin product contained .5% of Clostebol Acetate.
Where Does This Leave Us?
A careless mistake made by the head physician for the team has led to Johaug being disqualified. The situation was made worse by the fact that the medication clearly stated that it was not compliant with the WADA Code on the label itself. In fact, this was not even the first case of Trofoermin causing the steroid test to turn positive. For example, a pro cyclist named Agostini took it in 2013 for a rash on his buttock, only to have positive results for steroid abuse after.
Johaug is hopeful that her career will not go the same way as Agostini. While unlikely, Johaug still holds out hope that she will avoid the lengthy suspension that typically comes after a positive result.