Norway cross-country star Northug in drunk-driving probe

Norway cross-country star Northug in drunk-driving probe

OSLO - Norwegian cross-country skiing star Petter Northug, a two-time Olympic champion in 2010, is under investigation after causing an accident and admitting to drunk driving, Norwegian police said Monday.

Police in Trondheim, the western city where the incident took place, said they were waiting for the alcohol level test results "in the next 14 days" before they make a decision on any charges against the "enfant terrible" of Norwegian cross-country skiing.

"The police confirms that Petter Northug is being investigated for a violation of traffic regulations," officer Monica Groette Estenstad said during a press conference.

"This case will be treated like any other of the same kind."

In the early hours of Sunday, Northug's black Audi A7 was found crashed into a road barrier after crossing a roundabout and knocking down several traffic signs.

Potentially aggravating factors are that the driver - who has proven to be the sportsman himself - fled the scene, leaving behind him a slightly injured passenger, and that the evidence on site point at a speed above the 40 km/h (25 mph) limit.

After being arrested at home and interrogated by the police, the 28-year-old skier issued a statement in the evening offering his "deep apologies" and saying he was "ready to accept the punishment for (his) actions".

"It's the alcohol level that determines the sentence," Estenstad said.

The legal limit in Norway is 0.2 gram per liter of blood, and a result above one gram is usually punished with imprisonment without remission. Norwegian media speculated about the skier's future career in light of the incident.

Northug holds four Olympic medals - two gold - but has been out of shape since last year and did not make the podium at the Sochi Olympics in February.

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