Officials at Norway’s national skiing federation (Norges Skiforbundet) have been cleared of intentionally misusing asthma medicine or prescribing it for athletes who don’t have asthma. A commission investigating the charges found, however, that the federation has had poor routines and needs to handle medications more seriously.
The skiing bosses have been under heavy criticism that exploded when two of Norway’s top skiers were suspended in doping charges. While Therese Johaug is being punished for using a lip salve given to her by the national team’s doctor, Martin Johnsrud Sundby was accused of incorrectly using asthma medicine, also as directed by a team doctor.
Sundby actually has asthma, but then came reports that other skiers who came down with colds were given asthma medicine as well. That set off the investigation that was concluded this week and found that the national skiing team leaders were not guilty of irresponsible treatment of athletes with asthma.
Katharina Rise, who led the investigation said there was no reason to believe team leaders had intentionally carried out “irresponsible diagnosing or treatment of athletes without asthma.” She claimed the Norwegians’ practice was in line with that of other Nordic and international practice. “That’s our main message,” she said.
That came as a relief to the hard-pressed ski leaders, but they were advised to improve their routines.