US sports broadcaster ESPN and its local Norwegian partner, TV2, wrapped up coverage of their X Games “action sports” competition over the weekend and will “evaluate” a return to Oslo. ESPN still wouldn’t commit, however, to comply with a local demand to follow international drug testing rules during competition.
That’s a question ESPN “will need to look into,” its X Games boss Timothy Reed told newspaper Aftenposten. ESPN managed to avoid drug testing in Oslo after city politicians allowed their contract with ESPN to keep wording vague, even when the city granted NOK 42 million in funding for the event. The city’s new government will “absolutely insist” on drug testing during any future X Games competition, however, and so will both the national skiing and snowboarding federations.
“We hope we get the opportunity to do this again,” Reed told Aftenposten. “We will evaluate how this has gone, and look at the potential for more arrangements in Oslo.”
Despite the doping controversy, crowds streamed to the skiing, snow- and skateboarding events in Oslo. A highlight for many was the gold medal won by Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen on Saturday. Torin Yater-Wallace of the US and Cassie Sharpe of Canada won the freestyle super pipe events on Sunday.