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U.S. Alpine skier Breezy Johnson suspended for whereabouts failures

Breezy Johnson

ST MORITZ, SWITZERLAND - DECEMBER 16: Breezy Johnson of Team United States competes during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women’s Downhill on December 16, 2022 in St Moritz, Switzerland. (Photo by Francis Bompard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

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U.S. Alpine skier Breezy Johnson was suspended for 14 months for failing to properly provide her whereabouts for out-of-competition drug testing, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced Monday.

The ban was backdated to last Oct. 10, the date of her third whereabouts failure that triggered the suspension.

The ban ends this December, just before Johnson would normally open her World Cup season.

Johnson sat out this past season at least in part due to the whereabouts case.

Olympic-level athletes are required to provide daily whereabouts information to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency so that drug testers can find them for random, out-of-competition testing.

Athletes who accrue three whereabouts failures in a 12-month span can be banned up to two years with the length dependent on degree of fault.

USADA said Monday that Johnson’s level of fault was “relatively low given the circumstances of the case.”

A whereabouts failure can mean not being available for a drug test at a time and place where an athlete has stated they will be on drug-testing forms, incorrectly filling out those forms or not submitting those forms at all.

“This has taken a long time and I am sorry that the slowness of this process has made it seem like I am obfuscating anything,” was posted on Johnson’s social media on Tuesday. “I would like to clarify that filing failures are NOT a drug test failure but, as the name describes, an issue with drug testers being able to find me. I have been tested many times over the last year and a half. To my count over ten times between WADA and USADA testers. All of my tests have been clean. I apologize to my fans for letting them down and being unable to race this past season. I know we hold our athletes to the highest of standards and though I try my best I am only human and I made a human error and am paying those consequences.”

Johnson was the world’s second-ranked downhill skier before a January 2022 training crash resulted in torn cartilage in her right knee. That ruled her out of the 2022 Winter Olympics.

She owns seven World Cup podiums (all in downhill and all second- or third-place finishes).

She was seventh in the 2018 Olympic downhill as the youngest woman in the top 10.