STRAIGHT after the news of Therese Johaug’s positive doping test broke, her case was being overthrown by competitors who did not want the Norwegian ski favorite any good.
Dagbladet had just revealed that the lip balm Therese bought in Livigno was equipped with one warning on the package itself, and the news got some bitter Finnish cross-country stars at training camp in the same city to to start your own investigation.
Aino-Kaisa Saarinen and Sami Jauhojärvi ran down to the local Parafarmacia Faifer to find out what Therese had actually bought to lubricate her heavily sunburned lips. Shortly afterwards, the two skiers called in their highly private investigation material from Dagbladet’s pharmacy::
– This photo was taken at the pharmacy in Livigno. The pharmacy’s pharmacist also said that it contains doping, told Jauhojärvi pleased, and then he sent the famous picture of Aino-Kaisa Saarinen with the box of lip balm over to us.
Then apparently Therese’s competitors had got this sensational case where they wanted it.
FOR had not these two absolutely private investigators revealed Therese Johaug in record time?
– This puts the matter in a new light. Those at the pharmacy said that the drug contains doping. We just have to laugh at the fact that it is possible to misunderstand something like that. I do not believe in coincidences and explanations, stated Aino-Kaisa Saarinen is still only a few hours into the Johaug case.
– I’m too experienced to believe the excuses of practitioners who have tested positive, she added, and recommended Therese another ointment to cure sore lips next time:
– Dermalogica is the best means of protecting the skin and lips, said Aino-Kaisa scornfully, and more than hinted that the Norwegian cross-country star had not only tried to soothe chapped lips down there in the Italian Alps.
BACK THEN The Finnish veteran was 37 years old, and at least old enough to have taken part in the biggest humiliation in Finnish cross-country skiing. Aino-Kaisa Saarinen was about it only on the Finnish World Cup team at home in Lahti 2001som not was taken for blood doping. Unlike all other in and around the Finnish World Cup team, she reportedly knew nothing about the fraud her teammates and most of the management engaged in.
Aino-Kaisa herself surprisingly told Dagbladet a few years ago that she «just have good memories»From this championship. It is a rather selective memory of the doping scandal that almost completely destroyed Finnish cross-country skiing, and which spread a morbid jealousy in the environment around Saarinen.
The Finnish society has taken a open and honest civil law settlement with the betrayal of skiing. There, those responsible for the Lathi scandal were sentenced to prison terms and fines. There was a exemplary trial with our good neighbors. Just as there is every reason to remember that 19-year-old Pirjo Manninen won an honest sprint gold in Lathi 2001.
But in parts of the national cross-country environment it lived screwed the theory further that the Finnish dopers had only done like absolutely everyone else to win in the track.
And that the Norwegian runners who claimed that they did not cheat were some hypocrites.
THE was probably why the same Aino-Kaisa Saarinen only a few years after this national defeat, started using it then life-excluded doptrener Jarmo Riski as its personal trainer. And that she, after mocking Johaug by posere with the medicine box in the pharmacy in Livigno, received Award for Best Sports Picture of the Year in Finland.
As a witness in one of the sport’s doping cases, Saarinen is about the last person you should trust. If she is allowed to unmistakably cover what is right and wrong, at least the rule of law is threatened.
And then we are right into the important the debate about open lawsuits about doping that the Norwegian Sports Confederation was messing around completely, before they were the pressure of Anti-Doping Norway to change its new rules.
AINO-KAISA SAARINEN was not summoned to it open the hearing about Johaug’s anabolic lip balm that followed at Ullevaal Stadium in the winter of 2017. There, the Finns’ repeated ugly spread of rumors had in any case been stopped by documented facts in the Johaug case. That is, the open, presented evidence that substantiated the crucial ethical premise of this sad trial; that of Therese Johaug never have tried to fool someone.
Open hearings ensure that, and that openness is worth fighting for. Even if Norway comes in the minority when the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is to implement its new regulations, and therefore must give in to international pressure to close its doors.
And so make it easier for dubious practitioners like Aino-Kaisa Saarinen to spread false rumors.
IN A debate post in Dagbladet discussing law professor Trond Solvang the relationship between these new regulations to WADA and the subsequent revision of the national Norwegian anti-doping rules.
Solvang is the foremost professional authority on such issues in Norway, and obviously has good ones legal reasons to believe that the Norwegian Sports Confederation must only accept that the sports hearings must in principle go behind closed doors.
But that does not mean that he is politically and value-wise right in that it is best for Norwegian sports to settle for a linguistically correct translation of WADA’s new regulations that will apply from New Year 2021.
Giving in so easily to any international pressure on closed doors is completely wrong in relation to the sport Norway believes in. The last time we were making the same mistake was then former Minister of Culture Linda Hofstad Helleland maneuvered feverish to become the new president of WADA. Then it was not so important for a while that Norway fought for that openness, before Helleland suddenly redefined seg.
Just to lose the game of power about the managerial job at WADA.
THE The international fight against doping is constantly changing. After Norwegian sports protested against WADA’s attempts to limit the transparency of doping cases during the legislative process, WADA itself has become a player in more transparency. In November, they start a case against Russia in the Sports Arbitration Court (CAS) where their point is to give the outside world as much transparency as possible in the Russian state fraud.
The chance that the WADA board will at the same time react to special Norwegian rules that ensure maximum transparency is apparently small. Such an action will break with their own policies.
THE crucial for us, however, is to keep our own value line in this matter. For years, Norway has worked to ensure that the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Convention also means something in sports. In other words, precisely the objective investigation, the fair trial, the independent courts and the open hearings that are necessary for the rule of law in Article 6.1 will become a reality.
This was a work like Thorbjørn Jagland supported up while he was Secretary-General of the Council of Europe. As a conscious internationally oriented politician, he clearly saw the need to strengthen athletes’ legal protection.
Here, international sports have always resisted. That is why the Council of Europe’s anti-doping convention in 2017 included the principle of open hearings. Later, the European Court of Human Rights passed the decision in the case of it doping banned German skating star Claudia Pechstein in practice pushed CAS to some more openness. Then it is surprisingly politically naive of Norwegian sports to give in now that the fight for this rule of law is beginning to receive international support.
Because there is some reason to believe that WADA will push Norway to not to comply with European human rights?
NOW Norwegian sports have fortunately turned around. In the consultation draft for the new Norwegian anti-doping regulations, it is again stated in paragraph 8.1,2.10 at: «The hearing is open unless the hearing panel finds that there is a special reason for closing all or part of the hearing.». Anti-doping Norway has thus finally got what the doping hunters want in this one internal Norwegian strife.
This is great, but we still lack the national sports leaders’ explanation of what has happened Behind the scene in this case.
In such a central value issue for Norwegian sports, the silence of the elected leaders is equal embarrassing like using a jealous, drug-addicted Finnish cross-country skier as a witness to the truth.