“I’m utterly bewildered" – trail running world champ denies doping allegations after positive test

Norway's Stian Angermund-Vik crosses the finish of the race during the 15th edition of the Marathon of Mont-Blanc
Norway's Stian Angermund says he has no idea how he could have tested positive for banned substances (Image credit: AFP Contributor / Contributor)

A Norwegian trail runner who has won several world championship medals in recent years has said he's "utterly bewildered" after testing positive for a banned substance following last year's UTMB.

Stian Angermund is currently the World Champion in Short Trail Running having won the 55 km OCC event in the 2023 UTMB for the second time. However, in a social media post on February 10, Angermund reveals that he received a "life changing" email in October from the French anti-doping agency informing him he had tested positive for chlorthalidone.

"These past months have been the most difficult and challenging of my sporting career," says Angermund.

"I haven’t used any medications or supplements, nor have I ever taken or misused drugs. Where could this possibly have come from?"

Chlortalidone is a diuretic that can be used to mask the traces of performance enhancing drugs in the bloodstream and is banned by the World Anti Doping Agency. Angermund is now suspended from competition pending an investigation and says he won't be racing this summer.

"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," continues Angermund, who claims he is a "clean athlete" and says he is currently in the process of vigorously defending his innocence.

The 37-year-old has racked up an impressive scoreboard in the last eight years on the trails. He won the 40 km distances at the 2021 Amazing Thailand World Mountain and Trail Running Championships and holds two gold medals from the 2016 Skyrunning Championships.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.