Sports

US downhill skier Breezy Johnson banned for 14 months for breaking anti-doping rules

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Downhill skier Breezy Johnson has been banned for 14 months for three violations of anti-doping rules and can’t race until December.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency published its decision late Monday for Johnson’s failure to comply with the whereabouts rules. They oblige athletes to detail where they can be found for one hour each day to give a sample with no advance notice.

Athletes have been banned for up to two years if they have three violations in a 12-month period, such as missed tests or failures to update accurate details of their location.

Johnson’s whereabouts failures were on Oct. 29, 2022, then June 13, 2023 and Oct. 10, 2023, USADA said. A seven-time podium finisher in World Cup races, she left the circuit in December while under investigation.

USADA said 14 months was an appropriate ban for the 28-year-old Johnson because her “degree of fault was relatively low given the circumstances of the case.”

After growing up racing in Jackson Hole, WY, she moved to Salt Lake City to race for Romark Academy High School then for the University of Utah and U.S. Ski and Snowboard based in Park City.

Johnson did not race in the World Cup last season and is not scheduled to miss any races next season in her specialist downhill and super-G events before the ban expires on Dec. 9.

“I apologize to my fans for letting them down and being unable to race this past season,” Johnson wrote on social media, adding “I made a human error and am paying those consequences.”

“See you at Birds of Prey,” she wrote, referencing her scheduled return to racing at Beaver Creek, Colorado, on Dec. 14-15.

The USADA ruling can be challenged by the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Ski and Snowboard Federation on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Johnson’s race career peaked in a one-year period through December 2021 when she had three runner-up finishes and four third-places in World Cup downhills.

She missed the 2022 Beijing Olympics due to a knee injury she picked up three weeks before the games.

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