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English version: Here lives Johann Mühlegg

Johan Mühlegg håller upp handen mot kameran Foto: Robban Andersson
Den förre skidåkaren och dopingfuskaren Johann Mühlegg gick under jorden 2006 och valde att försvinna från rampljuset. SPORT-Expressen lyckades spåra tysk-spanjoren till Natal i Brasilien - och bjöds in för en pratstund. Foto: Robban Andersson
Johann Mühlegg och kollegan Abdiel Monteiro, byggchef på ett annat företag, gör bra affärer i Natal. "Det är fina tider för oss nu", säger Monteiro. Foto: Robban Andersson
Johann Mühleggs företag bygger bostäder i en lukrativ region. Natal tar emot cirka 175 000 turister i samband med fotbolls-VM och enligt en undersökning av resesajten TripAdvisor har boende-priserna i staden ökat med 180 procent. Här, bakom murarna i Buzios, bygger Mühlegg hotell. Foto: Robban Andersson
Kaue, som vi träffar på stranden, berättar att han känner till "gringon" Mühlegg. "Han måste kolla på nätet eller något, för han verkar alltid veta exakt när det är bra vågor". Foto: Robban Andersson
Arbetarna Eduardo och José Itamar har Mühlegg som chef. "Han ser till att alla gör sitt jobb", säger Eduardo. "Och han köper alltid mat till oss. En mycket fin man", säger José Itamar. Foto: Robban Andersson
Jonathan och Samuel Castro driver fallet mot den staliga försäljningen av deras hus, som Mühlegg köpt. Foto: Robban Andersson
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NATAL. He disappeared 2006.

Since then no one has found skiings most hated cheater.

Until now.

SPORT-Expressen has tracked down Johann Mühlegg - in the centre of Natal, one of the host towns of the World cup in Brazil.

- I have put all that behind me, he says about the doping scandal in the Olympic games.

We gaze up at the balconies surrounding the apartment complex Parnamirim, close to the airport in Natal. And we see a sweaty man standing with no shirt on, sweeping his patio. We shout out his name and a few minutes later Gerson is standing with us down on the street below, telling us all about his favourite neighbour - the man we are looking for.

- Is Johann Mühlegg famous in Europe? Haha! You have come all the way from Europe to meet him, you say? Very strange. I didn´t even know he could ski, Gerson says and laughs.

- Shall i give him a call and ask him to come outside?

Gerson starts dialling on the door phone and a short while later the door opens. A tanned Mühlegg, who looks like he has gained a few pounds, pokes out his head. He is wearing a light blue sweatshirt with his companies logo, Jericons Construções, branded on the front and he has a surprised look on his face when he sees us. We are just waiting for him to slam the door in our faces. Instead he laughs and says:

- Come inside!

Disappeared in 2006

Four years after the doping scandal that rocked the Olympic games 2002, Johann Mühlegg decides to disappear. Since then no one has found him.

But now Mühlegg has finally revealed his hiding place after getting into a legal dispute. The dispute concerns a flat in the centre of Natal, only five minutes away from the World cup stadium Arena das Dunas. The Castro family have lived there since 1997, but after failing to pay taxes, their home was taken by the state. It was then put on the market and Mühlegg decided to buy it. The price tag was 150 000 reals (about 70 000 US dollars) - a real bargain. But the Castro family are now in a dispute about the circumstances surrounding the situation. And Johan Mühlegg refuses to give up his new flat.

- The flat is all the family has got, but it looks like we are going to have to move out. It's so sad, the son in the family, Jonathan Castro, says.

He continues:

- My mum has taken it the worst. She is very depressed because of the whole situation. We all feel for her.

"What are you doing here?"

Back to the meeting with Johann Mühlegg again.

The surprised half German, half Spanish skier has just invited us into his home, but we only take a few steps past the threshold before he turns to us.

He laughs nervously.

- What are you doing here?, he asks.

We explain that we just wonder what he is up to nowadays.

- Nothing. '´m still alive.

But what are you doing in Brazil?

- Nothing. I just live here, he answers and laughs nervously again.

You don't want to tell us anything about your life here?

- No. Nothing.

But you build houses?

- No.

"I am in very bad shape"

It's quite a bizarre situation. We have found the man that has been disappeared for the past 8 years, he lets us into his home. But he won´t answer any questions.

We decide to try a few questions about skiing to lighten the mood.

According to sources to SPORT-Expressen, Mühlegg still competes when he is back home in Germany. He has participated in a couple of competitions in the area around Grainau during the past years using a fake name.

We ask him if he is in good shape.

- No, I am in very bad shape, he answers and squirms.

He adds:

- I am very surprised that you are here. But ok, I don´t want to talk about the past, I have put that behind me.

So you have no plans to return to skiing, not even as a coach?

- No. I have no connection what so ever with the sport anymore. I have left that world behind me.

Are you happy with your new life?

- I'm not going to answer that.

But are you happy or are you sad?

- No. Haha.


- More happy than sad, he replies and fires a question back:

- I am sorry, what newspaper are you from?

Expressen, on of the larger newspapers in Sweden.

- I've never heard of it.

- You know, Brazil is Brazil and Europe is Europe. Ok?

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