Norwegian skier Therese Johaug has opted against appealing the 13-month suspension from all competition and team training that she was handed last week by a sports tribunal in Norway. Her lawyer told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Wednesday that she now just wants to concentrate on her skiing and not on an appeal.
It remains possible for other involved in the case to appeal, though, and there’s been speculation that the international skiing federation (FIS) will appeal to the Court of Arbitration in Switzerland, which hears such cases. Johaug herself, however, wants to move forward, her lawyer said, and hopes she can put her doping nightmare behind her.
She and many others view her 13-month suspension for inadvertently using a lip salve that contained steroids as tough. She has lost the entire World Cup season this years and the upcoming World Championships, “but this (her reluctance to appeal) is part of a total evaluation,” her lawyer Christian Hjort told NRK, regarding the probability of being acquitted, the time an appeal would take, the uncertainty whether a new verdict would involve a shorter or longer suspension and “a desire for the most possible predictability at this point.”
He insisted her decision not to appeal involved no admission of guilt. Commentators in Norway interpreted her decision as rather a sign that she now wants peace and the ability to keep training as best she can under the circumstances.