Norway still dominates the World Cup. With both Martin Johnsrud Sundby and Heidi Weng wearing yellow bibs as overall World Cup Leaders, it seems not much has changed besides Weng supplanting Therese Johaug on the podium’s top step.
This past summer and fall, Norway’s cross-country community — which is arguably the entire nation — took a hit when both Sundby and Johaug were linked to doping. Much has been written about the technical aspects of their cases.
Nordic Nation reached out to Norwegian ski journalist John Rasmussen at Dagbladet, one of Norway’s leading newspapers. Rasmussen’s beat is the international and Norwegian ski scene. And since Google translate is not the most effective tool to go from Norwegian to English, we thought it best to get things straight from someone in the know.
“Doping in sport is so not on in this country,” Rasmussen said on the phone from Norway when we spoke on Dec. 15. “It’s considered such a shameful act, and particularly in cross-country, which is the national sport… If you’re caught cheating doing that, it’s probably like stealing from your neighbor. It’s not good.”
There’s more in this episode from Rasmussen. We talk of Johaug in the broader context of Norway’s sporting culture and the next steps in her doping case to be adjudicated late next month. There’s also some real world talk on what a parent says to a child who idolizes Johaug in a country where skiing is the sport of the people and the gods.
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