America's only certified Skyrace course. Race Beast of Big Creek on Mt. Ellinor in Hoodsport, WA on Aug 3rd, 2024.

America's only certified Skyrace course. Race Beast of Big Creek on Mt. Ellinor in Hoodsport, WA on Aug 3rd, 2024.

NRK is sort of like the PBS of Norway. This is Stian’s interview with Anders Skjerdingstad translated into English through the translation tool of my browser:

Norwegian world champion confirms positive doping test: – My life completely fell apart

When Stian Angermund (37) came home from the hospital with his wife and newborn son, he discovered the e-mail that turned his life upside down.

We came home on 20 October. We enjoyed being together as a whole family. We were going to bed. I looked at my phone to see that I had received an email that I didn’t understand. When the whole family had gone to bed, I went down to the kitchen. Found the computer. I checked my email and saw that I had received…

Stian Angermund doesn’t come any further before he breaks down in tears.

The world champion in mountain running has, after some consideration, agreed to receive NRK at home in Bergen to tell about a secret he has carried since that night in October.

Bare de nærmeste har visst. Nå skal plasteret rives av såret.

Everyone should know.

The email is in French. The sender is the French Anti-Doping Agency.

  • They had found a prohibited substance in my urine sample, he states.
  • It was further stated that I am suspended from everything. I am not allowed to run competitions. I am not allowed to be near a sporting event. I can’t run exercise guidance, which I do alongside running. I can get a fine of up to 45,000 euros, he says while breathing uncontrollably.
  • My life completely fell apart, he says as tears roll down his cheeks.

Angermund has not been convicted in the case and tells NRK that he does not understand how the banned substance could be in his urine sample.

The French anti-doping agency informs NRK that they do not have the opportunity to comment on doping cases that are being processed, but Angermund has given NRK access to the communication with the agency, including the document that confirms the positive test.

Stian Angermund has for a number of years belonged to the world’s elite in mountain running. On 8 June last year, he became world champion for the fourth time.

On 31 August he won Orsières-Champex-Chamonix. The prestigious run is 55 kilometers long and has a total ascent of around 3,500 metres.

As usual after victories, he took a doping test. It was this sample that was to be found to contain the banned substance chlorthalidone.

  • I stood there as a big question mark, because I know that I am a pure performer. I don’t take any medication. I don’t take any supplements. I just don’t understand where this can come from, says Angermund.

And continues:

  • I’m afraid. I am being accused of something I know I have not done. I notice that I am losing faith in myself. And I become very insecure.
  • What did you do next that night?

That evening a good friend of mine called. I got a lot of supportive words from him. I guess I actually lay on the floor and cried all night.

Angermund says he had never heard of the substance that the French Anti-Doping Agency said he had tested positive for.

  • I have read that it is a diuretic used for high blood pressure. It is a performance-enhancing drug. In doping contexts, it is used to hide other substances, he says.

Medical adviser Astrid Gjelstad in Antidoping Norway confirms the description.

  • It is on the doping list because it can be used to hide other doping abuse, because when you increase urine production, it can also dilute the concentration of illegal substances, she says.

Gjelstad states that the penalty range is from two to four years’ ban if you are convicted of using the drug.

When directly asked by NRK whether he has used chlorthalidone to hide other substances, Angermund replies:

Absolutely not. I don’t take anything. I know that you are responsible for what you put in your mouth. I absolutely understand that. That’s why I don’t take the supplement. I don’t take any medication. I drink cod liver oil in the winter. That’s it.

Already on 21 October, Angermund engaged the experienced American lawyer Paul J. Greene with the aim of being cleared.

The first thing they did was buy analysis of the B sample. The result was not what he had hoped for.

  • The B sample showed the same. I had 41 nanograms in the A sample and 31 nanograms in the B sample, he says.

According to Antidoping Norway, which is not a party to the case, there is no limit value for this substance.

Now samples of the sports nutrition he uses, as well as samples of medicines and dietary supplements used by his partner, have been sent for analysis to find out if any of it could be the source. Based on the tables of contents, there is nothing to indicate that, he acknowledges.

Angermund is also considering asking for a DNA analysis of the doping sample, to answer that it is actually his urine that contains the substance. DNA analysis is not a standard procedure and not something he is immediately entitled to.

The 37-year-old estimates that his personal expenses in the case are close to NOK 400,000, but without him getting any closer to an answer. Instead, he sits unemployed and brooding.

  • I would have liked to have found an answer to this. It’s something I really want, and it’s frustrating not knowing. Unfortunately, I think I will never find out where this comes from, he says.

His worst fear is that someone will have deliberately cheated him of the drug.

  • I hope it is not, but there is certainly a possibility that something like that could have happened. Basically, I have no enemies in this here. I trust the people I run with, says Angermund.

The fact that he cannot find an explanation is not a mitigating circumstance in doping cases. On the contrary.

  • Problems for Angermund or others in the same situation is that the athlete has a clear and so-called objective responsibility for everything that enters the body. Regardless of whether you meant to take it or whether you got it in other ways, you have broken the doping regulations, points out NRK’s sports commentator Jan Petter Saltvedt.

This is precisely why Angermund has now decided to be open about the positive test. He says he considered going public with it only a few weeks after learning of the case himself, but close supporters advised him against it.

He has acknowledged that there will most likely be a sentence and ban, and chooses to get rid of the burden that the secret has been.

  • I am terribly afraid of this coming out, but in a way it will also be good to not have to keep this secret, he says.

He fears the reactions, not least because he himself admits to having been quick to condemn others in the past.

  • When I was younger, we especially looked at cycling. You have heard that there are quite a few ugly things. I judged people like most others judge, thought they were cheaters. Now that I am sitting in this myself, I understand very well that people can be innocent in such settings, he says.
  • I have read other doping verdicts, I have seen how others are treated. So I want to think that I will be able to get a lot of negatives, continues Angermund, who takes action to try to spare himself.
  • When this comes out, I have also agreed with some of my friends that they will take over my social media. For a period, at least. I’m just going to put my phone away. Will go underground for a period of time. I am not ready to receive the social judgment in this, he admits.
  • What is the most difficult?
  • I think the most difficult thing is being seen as a cheater. Because cheating is not something I do. Cheating is not acceptable. You just don’t do that. And I don’t cheat. To be seen as that, I think is absolutely terrible, says Stian Angermund.

I tried to keep most of the formatting and didn’t adjust the structure of the article much, so this, this is really just the output of the auto translation tool of the browser, bear this in mind. I also am just offering this as a service to English language speakers and won’t offer any commentary.