The 32-year-old Norwegian had not done well in recent competitions and failed to recover from illness. Earlier this year, he failed to qualify for Norway's Olympic team for the Pyeongchang Games. Northug says "it will be good to follow the team sprint from the sidelines."
At the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Northug won two gold, one silver and one bronze medal. He added two team bronze medals four years later in Sochi.
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