Originally Posted by Cloxxki
Please offer your view on high-altitude training. Which % do you offer to both the credible science side and the BS Propaganda side of that?
before i express my opinion, i’d separate the 2 issues - the credible science and the propaganda - because they are not mutually exclusive …
first, the altitude training and simulation, particularly the technique termed live high/train low, is solid enough and is supported by credible science. The key is that the athlete has to be a responder
. this is a scientific fact - many are poor responders. true enough, a good responder regardless of the endurance sport, can gain a couple percentage points. unlike with the synthetic epo, this gain is predictable and relatively small b/c it is limited by the natural physiologic feedback mechanism. a plausible and realistic assumption would be an increase in total haemoglobin mass of less than 5% (recall, that ashenden concluded that up to 10% increase was undetectable by blood passport when epo was micro-dosed)
then, as you put it, there is the bs propaganda side…that is, when an athlete and/or his coach would try to use the high altitude concept to cover up own blood doping.
we know for a fact, this happened many times. i described some place a couple of ways how a sophisticated and proven cheater like armstrong was misusing high-altitude simulation to mask blood doping. it would be beyond silly to assume that the top xc skiers and their doping advisers live in isolation…
what percentage of the top xc skiers are currently masking blood doping ?
though i am absolutely sure the cheating is taking place, an honest answer is i don’t know
the best anyone can do is listen to credible, informed insiders like saltin and damsgaard whilst not taking everything they say as a gospel. for example, damsgaard is on record - and he’s been inside both sports - that doping in xc skiing is far less sophisticated than in cycling. he could be right but he said this several years back before some xc ski teams started to bring altitude simulating equipment to races...
that might be so, but i don’t exclude (though id give it a very remote probability) that the 77 y. o. impeccable authority like saltin, perhaps even unwittingly, was being misused to cover up a sophisticated doping scheme.
after all, we don’t even have to search hard to realize that the very similar situation almost happened with another doping and anti-doping champs - armstrong and catlin. i mean the texan's return in 2009 and dragging an authority no less than catlin to cover up his now proven blood doping in 2009.
are the Norwegians as arrogant and brazen ? speaking from personal cultural and ethnic experience - absolutely not!!
but then, i also would never imagine that breivik could ever happen in norway…