Norwegian Olympian Northug Sentenced to Prison for Drunk Driving

Norwegian Olympic champion cross-country skier Petter Northug was sentenced to 50 days in jail for fleeing the scene after crashing his car in a May drunk driving incident.

The 28-year-old will also pay a 185,000 kroner ($29,000) fine and lost his driver’s permit permanently, according to a televised verdict read by Judge Ingrid Stigum at Trondheim District Court. Prosecutors sought 60 days in prison, a fine of 200,000 kroner and the permanent loss of the license.

Northug crashed his Audi after driving straight through a traffic circle in Trondheim in the early morning of May 4. He fled the scene and was apprehended by police at his home. A friend in the car was slightly injured in the accident.

The skier accepted the sentence today after it was read. In a statement after the accident in May, he said that he “deeply regretted” the incident.

Northug, whose website says he’s cross-country skiing’s “undisputed superstar,” has cultivated a bad-boy image, breaking with his national team, participating in poker tournaments and picking up sponsorships from Red Bull, the energy drink.

He broke through in 2007 and has won 11 championship gold medals, including two Olympic gold medals. He failed to win medals at the Sochi Olympics and is now in training to regain his top form ahead of next year’s World Championships in Falun, Sweden.

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