Norwegian trail running champion Stian Angermund found himself in a whirlwind of disbelief and devastation after receiving shocking news following his victory at the Dacia UTMB Mont Blanc OCC in August 2023.
The French Anti-Doping Agency’s notification, received on October 20, revealed Angermund had tested positive for Chlorthalidone, a banned substance.
Angermund, a four-time world champion in mountain running, expressed profound confusion and distress, adamantly denying any knowledge or usage of prohibited substances.
“I’m utterly bewildered. I haven’t used any medications or supplements, nor have I ever taken or misused drugs. Where could this possibly have come from? I am a clean athlete,” he said on his social media platforms.
Chlorthalidone, primarily a diuretic for high blood pressure, is known in doping circles for its potential to mask other substances.
Angermund, in an emotionally charged interview with NRK television, reiterated his innocence, asserting his strict adherence to clean practices.
“I don’t take anything. I know you are responsible for what you put in your body. I absolutely understand it. That’s why I don’t take any supplements. I don’t take any medication. I drink cod liver oil in winter. That’s all,” he tearfully disclosed.
Despite Angermund’s swift action in hiring legal counsel and requesting a counter-analysis, the results mirrored the initial findings.
With his competition and livelihood on indefinite hold due to provisional suspension, Angermund faces significant financial and reputational consequences. Experts suggest a potential ban of two to four years if the positive test is upheld.
The impact on Angermund extends beyond the realm of sport as he grapples with the looming social judgment and the anguish of being branded a cheater.
“I’m not a cheater. Because cheating is not something I do. Cheating is not acceptable. I just don’t do that. I don’t cheat. Being seen like this seems absolutely terrible to me,” Angermund lamented.
As the investigation unfolds, Angermund navigates the nuances of anti-doping, clinging to hope for vindication while preparing for the storm of public scrutiny. He made the decision to entrust his social media management to close confidants in order to shield himself from the anticipated backlash.
The trail-running community watches with bated breath as Angermund’s fate hangs in the balance, highlighting the unforgiving nature of anti-doping.