Norway gold medallist was doping ‘suspect’

Norwegian cross country skier Anders Aukland was suspected of doping at the time he won gold with Norway's relay team at the 2002 Winter Olympics, a Swedish investigative documentary claimed on Wednesday.

Norway gold medallist was doping 'suspect'
Anders Aukland (in red) in 2006. Photo: WikedKentaur
According to the report by SVT's Uppdrag Granskning programme, Aukland was the only Norwegian on a list of twelve men and eight women who the International Ski Federation believed had  'suspicious' blood levels at the time of the Olympics in Salt Lake City.
"I feel they have created suspicion out of nothing," Aukland complained to Norway's NRK channel. "It is normal to have high blood levels at altitude. I am one of several skiers who naturally get it, but I have never been notified that they were too high." 
"I have several times been over 18 and I have about 16 normally," he admitted to Norway's Dagladet newspaper. "High blood levels are the also the result of being at high altitude. That's why we train at altitude." 
After SVT broke the story, VG newspaper reported that another Norwegian skier, Tore Ruud Hofstad, was also on a list of suspected athletes in 2005. 
Professor Bengt Saltin, a Swedish doctor who was at the time the head of the federation's medical committee, told the paper that he had been dismayed by the response of the Norwegian ski establishment when he had come to investigate.  
"In Norway, the atmosphere was aggressive and dismissive," he said. "It did not happen when I met leaders of other nations who were also on the list."  

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Russian curler stripped of Olympic medal for doping

Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky was stripped of his Pyeongchang Winter Olympics bronze medal Thursday after admitting doping, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said.

Russian curler stripped of Olympic medal for doping
Alexander Krushelnitsky and Anastasia Bryzgalova celebrate after winning the mixed doubles curling bronze match. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

The 25-year-old was one of 168 Russian athletes who passed rigorous testing to compete as neutrals in Pyeongchang after Russia were banned over a major doping scandal.

“The athlete has admitted the anti-doping rule violation; he is disqualified from the mixed doubles curling event,” the court said in a statement.

Krushelnitsky, who won mixed doubles bronze along with his wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova, has protested his innocence and officials have hinted at foul play.

But Krushelnitsky decided not to contest Thursday's CAS hearing, saying it was “stupid to deny” testing positive for meldonium, an endurance booster.

However, CAS said Krushelnitsky, who is provisionally suspended, “reserved his rights to seek the elimination or reduction of any period of ineligibility based on 'no fault or negligence' following the conclusion of the Games”.

The International Olympic Committee will this week decide whether to lift Russia's suspension in time for Russian athletes to carry the national flag at Sunday's closing ceremony, taking into account the conduct of their athletes in Pyeongchang.

Norway's Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten lost out to Krushelnitsky and Bryzgalova in the bronze medal play-off. But the World Curling Federation said separately that they would now receive their bronze medals “in due course”.

READ ALSO: Norwegian curler wants case resolved after Russian drugs test fail