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Doping in XC skiing

The Clinic is the only place on Cyclingnews where you can discuss doping-related issues. Ask questions, discuss positives or improvements to procedures.

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Re:

04 Nov 2017 22:44

kingjr wrote:Technique-wise the Norwegians seem to have an edge IMO, they have so many athletes and the majority of them looks really smooth on skis.

There is no denying.
But, what's the gain from looking really smooth? Can it make up so much that a clean as a whistle Norwegian can beat an evil hard core doped Russian who was selected from a big BIG skiing nation? Think back on some threads and articles on how much this doping actually helps. Defies all logic.
Cloxxki
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Re:

04 Nov 2017 23:16

kingjr wrote:Technique-wise the Norwegians seem to have an edge IMO, they have so many athletes and the majority of them looks really smooth on skis.



Yeah, because Northug, Johaug, Weng, Falla, Iversen....are so smooth, right? Rickardsson is smooth, why doesn't he have as many wins as Sundby? Poltoranin should be undefeated in classic races, right? Niskanen as well.

Belov is extremely smooth, so too Bessmertnykh, Vylegzhanin looks pretty good when he extends on the diagonal and double pole kick. Sedov is one of the smoothest skate skiers around, particularly on the V2.
BullsFan22
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04 Nov 2017 23:51

Smooth is the new stonegrind.
Really it may mean they're just not needing to dig quite as deep.
Cloxxki
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05 Nov 2017 06:54

Please cite a source for 80-90ish vo2max values for females. I doubt they exist. The highest i have come across is 76 from this paper looking at the training of Norwegian gold medal winners: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0101796

Olympiatoppens Tonnesen is involved, read into that whatever you like. Also sub 70 can land you a gold metal, though the avg amongst the female winners in the study is around 73.

The point is that athletes from other nations are not talentless or even a lot behind based on indicators of endurance capacity.
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05 Nov 2017 10:09

Don't top athletes tend tend to "peak" less for ergometer tests than for races? Some cyclists come to mind.
Cloxxki
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Re:

05 Nov 2017 10:26

Cloxxki wrote:Don't top athletes tend tend to "peak" less for ergometer tests than for races? Some cyclists come to mind.

Yes. Although i think most would test on more specific roller skis & treadmill these days.

Even so I think I need to see 80+ before i believe it. Moreover, if tests reporting non genuine peak values is a valid guestimate, it probably applies across the board, in which case the comparison is between athletes' preparation season values. Which dont seem that far apart.

This adds a variable of who peaks the highest into the equation about the level determinants to be sure. Is the observed differerence due to this then? Maybe.

However, my guess would be that the other two of "big three" ie fractional utilization of vo2 and efficiency, are just as important.

Interesting as this is, we have even less data about these. So to conclude, about a 70ml/kg/min vo2max is not bad but quite excellent for a top level female endurance athletes. Feel free to disagree, i just found it out of place to claim that others lack ability. :)
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Re: Re:

05 Nov 2017 11:25

BullsFan22 wrote:
kingjr wrote:Technique-wise the Norwegians seem to have an edge IMO, they have so many athletes and the majority of them looks really smooth on skis.



Yeah, because Northug, Johaug, Weng, Falla, Iversen....are so smooth, right? Rickardsson is smooth, why doesn't he have as many wins as Sundby? Poltoranin should be undefeated in classic races, right? Niskanen as well.

Belov is extremely smooth, so too Bessmertnykh, Vylegzhanin looks pretty good when he extends on the diagonal and double pole kick. Sedov is one of the smoothest skate skiers around, particularly on the V2.
What are you on about? You are reading things into my post that I haven't said.
kingjr
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Re: Re:

05 Nov 2017 13:03

kingjr wrote:
BullsFan22 wrote:
kingjr wrote:Technique-wise the Norwegians seem to have an edge IMO, they have so many athletes and the majority of them looks really smooth on skis.



Yeah, because Northug, Johaug, Weng, Falla, Iversen....are so smooth, right? Rickardsson is smooth, why doesn't he have as many wins as Sundby? Poltoranin should be undefeated in classic races, right? Niskanen as well.

Belov is extremely smooth, so too Bessmertnykh, Vylegzhanin looks pretty good when he extends on the diagonal and double pole kick. Sedov is one of the smoothest skate skiers around, particularly on the V2.
What are you on about? You are reading things into my post that I haven't said.



You are saying how the 'majority of them looks really smooth on skis.' Meaning that most of them have good technique, meaning that that is one of the big reasons they have great success. I simply put out a few names that also look good on skis, but don't have the success, meaning that technique isn't the only factor that makes xc skiers perform well.
BullsFan22
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Re:

05 Nov 2017 16:01

A few random items on the Vo2MAX value and its significance:

1) If we are to believe that artificially elevating hematocrit correspondingly increases Vo2MAX significantly, then there most likely would have been INseason figures for females in the excess of 80 ml/kg/min, because there are reports of women having 75 ml/kg/min figures from the pre-rEPO era from early 1970s. In their 1967 working paper, Swedish physiologists Saltin and Åstrand refer to a source mentioning that one Russian female skier had her figure comparable even in the early 1960s ("The highest value ever found in the Russian female cross-country team is 74 ml/kg X min (4.44 liters/min) on A. Gusakova"). (Saltin, B; Astrand PO: Maximal oxygen uptake in athletes, J Appl Physiol. 1967 Sep;23(3):353-8.)

2) Everyone agrees that the relative Vo2MAX figure isn't the end of the story from performance viewpoint, but there has also been research pointing out that the focus on the relative Vo2MAX figure understates the "true" capability of people with high absolute aerobic capability, ie. the figure systematically underpredicts the performance of competitors with large body dimensions. I've seen some Finnish researchers pointing to this phenomenom and a 1991 report by Frank Ingjer on the Norwegian skiers concluded the following:
Despite the proper ranking of the women as worldclass, medium-class and less successful elite skiers, both the world-class and the medium-class skiers had on average the same maximal aerobic power (70.1 and 70.6 ml-kg-'.min-l, respectively). Thus, the maximal aerobic power did not reveal the difference in performance level between these 2 groups of skiers.
The world-class women were significantly heavier than the medium-class women (mean 60.7 and 54.4 kg, respectively). Since the energy cost of cross-country skiing, relative to body weight, has been reported to decrease as body weight increases, [the Swedish exercise physiologist Ulf] Bergh has recommended the use of Vo2MAX in ml/kg^(2/3).
(Ingjer F. Maximal oxygen uptake as a predictor of performance ability in women and men elite cross-country skiers.
Scand J Med Sci Sports 1991: 1: 25-30)
.
This instantly brings into mind the case of the Finnish XC-skier Juha Mieto. I have a copy of the report of the five Finnish XC-skiers tested in 1973 at the Gymnastik och Idrottshögskolan (GIH) in Sweden, where Swedish researchers tested a group of Finnish athletes (below is late Bengt Saltin with Mieto) at the end of the 1972-1973 season (2 March, 1973).

Image
His Vo2MAX figure was reported as 7.40 l/min which was and could still be the absolute world record, but because his weight was 96 kg, his relative figure was "only" 76.9 ml/kg/min, a mediocrish figure for an olympic podium quality athlete, who won the unofficial XC World Cup twice (1975-76, 1979-80).

In the end, making reliable conclusions about Vo2MAX figures and their relation to performance is always difficult due to chronic absense of reliable INseason data from athletes and zero incentives for athletes to provide them when they have used doping methods affecting that variable. Only a total idiot would take RBC infusions, take the treadmill test and voluntarily publish the results.
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Re: Re:

05 Nov 2017 16:13

BullsFan22 wrote:
kingjr wrote:
BullsFan22 wrote:
kingjr wrote:Technique-wise the Norwegians seem to have an edge IMO, they have so many athletes and the majority of them looks really smooth on skis.



Yeah, because Northug, Johaug, Weng, Falla, Iversen....are so smooth, right? Rickardsson is smooth, why doesn't he have as many wins as Sundby? Poltoranin should be undefeated in classic races, right? Niskanen as well.

Belov is extremely smooth, so too Bessmertnykh, Vylegzhanin looks pretty good when he extends on the diagonal and double pole kick. Sedov is one of the smoothest skate skiers around, particularly on the V2.
What are you on about? You are reading things into my post that I haven't said.



You are saying how the 'majority of them looks really smooth on skis.' Meaning that most of them have good technique, meaning that that is one of the big reasons they have great success. I simply put out a few names that also look good on skis, but don't have the success, meaning that technique isn't the only factor that makes xc skiers perform well.
There, you did it again
kingjr
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Re: Re:

05 Nov 2017 18:11

kingjr wrote:
BullsFan22 wrote:
kingjr wrote:
BullsFan22 wrote:
kingjr wrote:Technique-wise the Norwegians seem to have an edge IMO, they have so many athletes and the majority of them looks really smooth on skis.



Yeah, because Northug, Johaug, Weng, Falla, Iversen....are so smooth, right? Rickardsson is smooth, why doesn't he have as many wins as Sundby? Poltoranin should be undefeated in classic races, right? Niskanen as well.

Belov is extremely smooth, so too Bessmertnykh, Vylegzhanin looks pretty good when he extends on the diagonal and double pole kick. Sedov is one of the smoothest skate skiers around, particularly on the V2.
What are you on about? You are reading things into my post that I haven't said.



You are saying how the 'majority of them looks really smooth on skis.' Meaning that most of them have good technique, meaning that that is one of the big reasons they have great success. I simply put out a few names that also look good on skis, but don't have the success, meaning that technique isn't the only factor that makes xc skiers perform well.
There, you did it again



Maybe 'looking smooth on skis' means something totally different to me. Semantics, perhaps.
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Re:

05 Nov 2017 19:00

Oude Geuze wrote:I loved Legkov and Belov as skiers, but the Sochi 50k was just a farce. Anyone following xc knew what was up, trippel Russia demolishing Sundby was already proof of doping in my eyes.

You are clearly not following XC skiing. Cologna won 2 golds over all russian skiers before 50k and was in a leading group before breaking the ski. If not the accident he would be on podium with a high probability.

Clean Cologna and dirty Sasha. What a farce.
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Re: Re:

05 Nov 2017 21:55

Rider wrote:
Oude Geuze wrote:I loved Legkov and Belov as skiers, but the Sochi 50k was just a farce. Anyone following xc knew what was up, trippel Russia demolishing Sundby was already proof of doping in my eyes.

You are clearly not following XC skiing. Cologna won 2 golds over all russian skiers before 50k and was in a leading group before breaking the ski. If not the accident he would be on podium with a high probability.

Clean Cologna and dirty Sasha. What a farce.


I hate to bring in Cologna's name into doping talks, but his association with Marc Biver, former general director at Astana, was also Tony Rominger's mentor, is first suspect. Also Cologna's recovery after that ankle injury he sustained in late October/early November (don't know the exact date, but it was close to the opening races...) was almost miraculous. He missed the first two months of the racing season and his first world cup race was in Toblach where he finished 2nd to Legkov. He then crushes the 30km skiathlon, beating all the doped Russians of course, and was arguably more impressive in the 15km classic, catching Johan Olsson, who always seems to peak for the big races (a suspect skier as well, in my honest opinion).

In the sprint he fell, twice, in his quarterfinal. That was probably the last time he was gonna be a contender in a major championship sprint, and I think he would have made it out of that heat, it wasn't the strongest. He only had Pellegrino to deal with. Who knows what would have happened had he made it through.

The 50km, well, like Rider said he had all the chances to medal and possibly win. The camera didn't catch who broke his ski, but his chances evaporated right away, and it happened 100-150 meters before the long climb. He was easily marking everyone and I think he would have gotten at least bronze. The guy could have left Sochi with three golds after missing virtually the entire season (he didn't race anything after Sochi). That's quite remarkable, if you ask me. Also, Hellner was sick, and he didn't race, but was in excellent form. Silver in the skiathlon, made the final of the sprint, won gold with the relay....He would have been a top contender for a medal as well. The other top guys kind of choked, except Sundby. So no, it's not a shock that the Russians won medals in the event.
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06 Nov 2017 00:02

why no one mentioned the KING of smoothness that should hurt ANY experienced eye - someone named petter...

to be clear, a good, efficient technique is essential to a success in xc skiing. yet, excessive smoothness may actually betray an INefficient technique under certain conditions. i will admit that sundby's technique in both styles had undergone a visible change since when he was a nobody...the rest of the norges are a mixed bag...
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Re:

07 Nov 2017 17:48

Cloxxki wrote:XC may be huge in Norway, but not to the point of making up for the difference of hard core doping by huge skiing country Russia (or so they imply) and they unquestioned hardcore training mentality. Sports and doping don't work that way, and certainly not skiing.

This was a long time ago but when one of my brothers studied to become a doctor in the early to mid-nineties there where fellow students that would place in the top 10-15 in national championships on not much training. Of course these people had put in the required training in the years prior to becoming full-time students but still, you got the feeling that behind the top 5-10 there wasn't much depth. There is probably a bit more now, plus a change towards greater professionalism amongst the people involved, but perhaps not all that much.
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09 Nov 2017 14:02

Four more Russians out, Alexej Petuchov, Jevgenija Sjapovalova, Maxim Vylegzjanin and Julia Ivanova. The whole Sochi olympics was a Russian scam it seems. Always liked Vylegzjanin, him being a cop and skier was cool, plus he was amongst the first to beat Northug in sprint. Sundby climbing to silver in the 50k, will he reach gold? Hopefully not.

A little technique vs metabolic work capacity anecdote:
I used to train with the Norwegian national champion U16/17? crit champion, he left me for dead on inclines while whistling, hands on his back. Same with running. Later in the season we went skiing and I beat him soundly over 30k. Skiing is like swimming, it takes an awful lot of work from very early age to get good, even if you’re a genetic anaerobic monster.
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Re:

09 Nov 2017 14:22

Oude Geuze wrote:Four more Russians out, Alexej Petuchov, Jevgenija Sjapovalova, Maxim Vylegzjanin and Julia Ivanova. The whole Sochi olympics was a Russian scam it seems. Always liked Vylegzjanin, him being a cop and skier was cool, plus he was amongst the first to beat Northug in sprint. Sundby climbing to silver in the 50k, will he reach gold? Hopefully not.

A little technique vs metabolic work capacity anecdote:
I used to train with the Norwegian national champion U16/17? crit champion, he left me for dead on inclines while whistling, hands on his back. Same with running. Later in the season we went skiing and I beat him soundly over 30k. Skiing is like swimming, it takes an awful lot of work from very early age to get good, even if you’re a genetic anaerobic monster.



They haven't proven anything nor come out with anything new. It's all from one man, Rodchenkov. Where was the security there? Where's Chernousov? He and Legkov were training partners for years, spending a lot of time in Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Austria. What, they gave drugs to Legkov and not Chernousov?
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09 Nov 2017 17:37

Probably they were all under the state doping system and racing illegaly. But of course, there might not be sufficient evidence to ban everyone and some may actually be clean, just does not seem likely at this point.
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Re:

10 Nov 2017 17:29

Oude Geuze wrote:In Norway, the skiers are the top athletes in the country, it’s where all the money and fame is. Norwegian skier Kristin Stormer Steria won the national 10k track championship with minimal specialized training. In the rest of the world it would be the other way around.

Well, that just might mean they have bad track athletes.

Anyway you are not right, in Czech republic there xc skier is beating track runners too.
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