Johann Mühlegg

Johann Mühlegg (born 8 November 1970 in Ostallgäu, Germany) is a former top level cross-country skier who competed in international competitions first representing Germany and then Spain, after becoming a Spanish citizen in 1999. He was excluded and disqualified from the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City for doping.

Johann Mühlegg
Country Germany /  Spain
Full nameJohann Mühlegg
Born (1970-11-08) 8 November 1970 (age 50)
Ostallgäu, West Germany
Ski clubSC Garmisch
World Cup career
Seasons19921998, 20002002
Individual wins7
Team wins0
Indiv. podiums12
Team podiums0
Indiv. starts97
Team starts15
Overall titles1 – (2000)
Discipline titles1 – (1 LD: 2000)

Early careerEdit

Mühlegg participated for Germany in the 1992, 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics, even though he began having trouble with Germany's ski federation in 1993. From the beginning, Mühlegg singled himself out, at one point accusing German head coach Georg Zipfel for "damaging him spiritually" (the so-called Spiritistenaffäre). He was thrown off the team in 1995, but was reinstated later. But from that moment on, the ever eccentric Mühlegg insisted on taking a flask of holy water with him at all times, and trusting only his Portuguese cleaning woman/chaperone Justina Agostino. In the end, Mühlegg was branded as a team cancer and was thrown out.[1]

Competing for SpainEdit

After being ejected from the national team after the 1998 Nagano Games, his good relations with members of the Spanish cross-country skiing team, in particular Juan Jesús Gutiérrez Cuevas and Haritz Zunzunegui, opened the door for Mühlegg to obtain Spanish citizenship.

In late 1999, competing for Spain, he won a World Cup race for the first time. At the 2001 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti, he won two medals with a silver in the 10 km + 10 km combined pursuit (stepping up when the original medalist Jari Isometsä was disqualified for hemohes use), and a gold in the 50 km freestyle race. These are the only medals ever that Spain has won at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.

In the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Mühlegg won gold medals in the 30 km freestyle and the 10 km + 10 km pursuit races, the successes gaining him congratulations from King Juan Carlos I of Spain.

Mühlegg finished first in the 50 km classical race held on the final Saturday of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games on 23 February 2002 but was disqualified from that race and was expelled from the Games the next day, after testing positive for darbepoetin¹ (a medicine which boosts red blood cell count; the substance was not banned at the time since it had only recently been developed).

Doping controversyEdit

Following the darbepoetin scandal, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) initially let Mühlegg keep his gold medals from the first two races. But in December 2003 a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) found that these medals should also be withdrawn. The CAS remitted this case as well as similar ones involving Olga Danilova and Larisa Lazutina (both from Russia) to the IOC Executive Board, which confirmed the rulings in February 2004.

World Cup resultsEdit

All results are sourced from the International Ski Federation (FIS).[2]

World Cup standingsEdit

 Season   Age  Season standings
Overall Distance Long Distance Middle Distance Sprint
1992 23 17 N/A N/A N/A N/A
1993 24 19 N/A N/A N/A N/A
1994 25 17 N/A N/A N/A N/A
1995 26 28 N/A N/A N/A N/A
1996 27 9 N/A N/A N/A N/A
1997 28 26 N/A 16 N/A 41
1998 29 24 N/A NC N/A 15
2000 31 1 N/A 1 2 36
2001 32 2 N/A N/A N/A 36
2002 33 8 N/A N/A N/A

Individual podiumsEdit

  • 7 victories
  • 12 podiums
No. Season Date Location Race Level Place
1 1999–00 10 December 1999   Sappada, Italy 15 km Individual F World Cup 1st
2 9 January 2000   Moscow, Russia 30 km Individual F World Cup 1st
3 12 January 2000   Nové Město, Czech Republic 15 km Individual C World Cup 2nd
4 5 February 2000   Lillehammer, Norway 10 km + 10 km Skiathlon C/F World Cup 2nd
5 20 February 2000   Transjurassienne, France 72 km Mass Start F World Cup 1st
6 26 February 2000   Falun, Sweden 15 km Individual F World Cup 1st
7 19 March 2000   Bormio, Italy 15 km Pursuit F World Cup 2nd
8  2000–01  16 December 2000   Brusson, Italy 10 km + 10 km Skiathlon C/F World Cup 2nd
9 10 January 2001   Soldier Hollow, United States 30 km Mass Start F World Cup 1st
10 13 January 2001   Soldier Hollow, United States 10 km Individual C World Cup 1st
11 14 March 2001   Borlänge, Sweden 10 km Individual F World Cup 3rd
12 2001–02 12 December 2001   Brusson, Italy 15 km Individual F World Cup 1st

See alsoEdit


  1. Traces of darbepoetin were found in a random urine test on 21 February. Before the 50 km race on 23 February, a random test for hemoglobin levels found Mühlegg above the limit; a second test five minutes later was below the limit, and he was allowed to compete. At the end of the race he came on extremely strong (and, as was later shown, unnaturally strong) to beat Mikhail Ivanov of Russia by 14.9 seconds.


  1. ^ "Johann Mühlegg: Skurril, schrullig, schräg". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2006.
  2. ^ "Athlete : MUEHLEGG Johann". FIS-Ski. International Ski Federation. Retrieved 14 March 2018.

External linksEdit