Petter Northug, Norway cross-country skiing champ, to be jailed for traffic, drug offenses

Petter Northug
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HELSINKI — A court in Norway has found two-time Olympic cross-country skiing champion Petter Northug guilty of serious traffic offenses and possession of narcotics and sentenced him to seven months in prison and a lifetime driving ban.

The Oslo District Court said in its ruling on Monday that Northug, 34, put himself and others in danger by driving recklessly and too fast. Northug was arrested in August in Norway after driving his Jaguar in excess of 125 mph.

Judge Ole Kristen Oeverberg said, particularly incriminating, was that Northug filmed the driving act on his mobile phone. A previous conviction for drunk driving in 2014 also weighed on the court’s verdict.

“It is aggravating that several films were made of the speeding offenses which, according to the accused’s own explanation, were shown to friends,” the judge said, according to the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK.

After being stopped for speeding, police searched Northug’s home and found cocaine. Northug admitted to possessing cocaine, speeding, and driving under the influence.

The Norwegian great, who won two gold medals at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and is a 13-time world champion, retired from the sport in 2018.

He said he accepted Monday’s sentence and wouldn’t appeal.

“Northug wants to take the punishment he has received and move on in life,” his lawyer Halvard Helle told reporters after court’s decision.

The sentence is unconditional, meaning Northug has to serve time in jail.

In 2014, Northug crashed his car in Norway while driving under the influence of alcohol. He fled the scene and later apologized for the incident in which a male passenger broke his collar bone.

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