Ms Johaug underwent an out-of-competition doping control test on 16 September 2016 which revealed the presence of a metabolite of Clostebol. Further to an investigation, the Adjudication Committee of the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sport issued a decision on 10 February 2017 in which Ms Johaug was sanctioned with a period of ineligibility of 13 months beginning on 18 October 2016, the date on which she was provisionally suspended.
On 6 March 2017, the International Ski Federation (FIS) filed an appeal at the CAS requesting that the period of ineligibility imposed on Ms Johaug be reasonably extended, to between 16-20 months.
The case was handled by a Panel of CAS arbitrators: Mr Romano F. Subiotto QC, (UK/Belgium), President, Mr Markus Manninen (Finland) and Mr Jeffrey G. Benz (USA). A hearing was held at the CAS headquarters on 6 June 2017.
Having reviewed the matter in full, the Panel noted that Ms Johaug failed to conduct a basic check of the packaging, which not only listed a prohibited substance as an ingredient but also included clear doping cautionary warning. Such omissions resulted in an anti-doping rule violation inconsistent with her otherwise clean anti-doping record. Nevertheless, in order to ensure equality in applying antidoping rules, the Panel highlighted that it was obliged to apply a proportionate sanction, consistent with the level of fault. For this reason, the Panel noted that, in such a situation of non-significant fault, the 2015 World Anti-doping Code provides for a suspension range of between 12 – 24 months and determined in the present case that a period of ineligibility of 18 months, commencing on 18 October 2016, was appropriate.