Anti-Doping Norway said that the suspension was intended to allow time for a more details investigation of the case.
“The reason for the decision is that the prosecution committee is of the opinion that the athlete cannot be said to have acted without fault,” said Anstein Gjengedal, chairman of the committee. “The suspension means that the athlete can not participate in competitions and organised training.”
Johaug said she was willing to accept the suspension .
“I’m taking it hard, but but I’m going to respect the suspension," she said in a press statement issued by the Norwegian Ski Federation. "Now I’m going to concentrate on what’s most important, working for my full acquittal. I look forward to a thorough and complete treatment of the matter as quickly as possible.”
Johaug made a tearful appearance at a press conference last week to announce her positive test result, claiming that the steroid, which was widely used in East Germany’s state-sponsored doping program, had come from a cream given to her by the Norwegian ski team’s doctor to treat a sore on her lips.
In his testimony, Dr Fredrik Bendiksen said that he had bought the ointment Trofodermin at a pharmacy in Livigino, Italy, when the team was doing high altitude training nearby in August.
He claimed not to have checked the packaging, which would have informed him that the cream contains substances banned under anti-doping laws.
Johaug is the world’s best cross country skier, taking three gold medals at the World Championship in Falun, Sweden last winter and winning a gold medal in the 4 x 5 km relay at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.