Current trail running world champion Stian Angermund this weekend revealed the bombshell news that he tested positive for a banned substance after his OCC victory last August.
The 37-year-old Norwegian made his move on the climb up to the Col de Balme that day and never looked back as he won the prestigious UTMB 55km event from Orsières in Switzerland to Chamonix in France by more than two minutes.
As well as his trail running world titles in 2022 and 2023 he has also twice won the Golden Trail Series (2018 and 2021). His OCC victory was also his second, having triumphed in Chamonix in 2019.
‘My life completely fell apart’
But he revealed the shock development on his Instagram page and in a tearful interview with NRK TV in Norway, telling them: “My life completely fell apart.”
The email from the French anti-doping agency which turned his life upside down arrived last October, shortly after Angermund returned from hospital with his wife and newly-born son.
Explaining the sequence of events, Angermund wrote: “These past months have been the most difficult and challenging of my sporting career.
“On the 20th October 2023, I received a life changing email from the French anti-doping agency, informing me that the urine sample taken after my victory at OCC contained the banned substance chlorthalidone.
“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.
“I’m currently in the process of vigorously defending my innocence and proving that I am clean.
“Due to my suspension and pending investigation, I won’t be competing in the summer of 2024, and there’s uncertainty around whether I’ll ever return to the world stage.
“The profound sadness and sorrow I feel in losing my career, reputation, and passion for sport cannot be overstated. This ordeal has already brought countless tears, sleepless nights, and is testing my self-esteem.
“I urge everyone to exercise caution and kindness, whether you choose to believe in me or not.”