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Doping in XC skiing

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Re: Doping in XC skiing

25 Feb 2018 14:10

Discgear, your Obelix reference may be even more apt than funny. Once doped, you can never be clean again.

WHY tell me, WHY, do Norwegians get away with murder in broad daylight while Russians in a church choir are basically guillotined pre-emptively for being serial killers?

All part of the global phenomena that will define this era, in sports, science, economics and politics:

#thegreatdeception
Cloxxki
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Re: Doping in XC skiing

25 Feb 2018 15:08

Precisely Cloxxki, it's so bizarre the nativity of the sporting public, regardless of national identity. How anyone can purely think that 'it's just the Russians' whilst Marit Mühlegg ploughs two minutes into the womens field is beyond me and has been at the top for 16yrs, no questions asked! Why pop Johaug though? Norweigan medal count would have been through the roof with her present too. Do you think it was just to keep the wolves at bay and tarnish her as the rotten apple to allow proceedings to carry on?

It's the same with Britain and Team Sky, Farah, Radcliffe et al. I'm British but quite how I'm supposed to believe that they're not on the gear and it's only other nations at it, all because of our 'whiter than snow' or 'we're too righteous to cheat' mentality is a well scripted narrative by the press and various bureaucrats in their respective fields.

Propaganda eh. :lol:

I'm still feeling bad for Teresa Stadlober!

Cloxxki wrote:Discgear, your Obelix reference may be even more apt than funny. Once doped, you can never be clean again.

WHY tell me, WHY, do Norwegians get away with murder in broad daylight while Russians in a church choir are basically guillotined pre-emptively for being serial killers?

All part of the global phenomena that will define this era, in sports, science, economics and politics:

#thegreatdeception
terribleone
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Re: Doping in XC skiing

25 Feb 2018 15:22

Discgear wrote:The Olymic Saga (can't remember who first mentioned Obelix in the thread but kudos to the parable)

The invincible Gauls (Norwegian XC-team) have been dominating XC-skiing since early 90s when Getafix (MD Kai-Håkon Carlsen) brewed a magic potion (mixture of asthma medication through Nebulizers together with Systemic glucocorticoids) which temporarily gives the recipient XC-skiers superhuman strength.
Now, when WADA finally has started to reduce the amount of magic potion allowed, several gauls (e.g Flugstad Ostberg, Weng, Tonseth, Johnsrud Sundby) are not any more invincible. Of course except Obelix (Marit Bjoergen), who fell into a cauldron of the magic potion when “she” was young, causing “her” to be the only Gaul (Norwegian XC skier) in the village who is in a permanent state of superhuman strength.



Beautiful.
BullsFan22
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25 Feb 2018 16:01

Marit Bjørgen may or may not be cheating, but she has won 30k's like this for more than 10 years, meanwhile Niskanen and 21(!) year old Bolshunov beats super-doper MJS and the rest of the Norwegians by 2minutes (incidentally the same margins as Bjørgen), but gets almost no scrutiny on here? 21 year old, on the longest, toughest ski disipline in the xc world, in the olympics. The one people usually start winning at age 28 and beyond and he just left Sundby and took back 40 seconds(!) on Niskanen. 40 seconds on the fastest classic skier in the world, on a top day which he prepared for during the entire year. From a nation that has been banned for systematic doping, and have the most athletes banned so far in the olympics.
...
Seems plausible.
«Sky helped for the GC, so did BMC - a lot of teams tried but one rider isn't enough. Not against De Gendt. He's like 10 riders.»
Oude Geuze
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Re:

25 Feb 2018 16:16

Oude Geuze wrote:Marit Bjørgen may or may not be cheating, but she has won 30k's like this for more than 10 years, meanwhile Niskanen and 21(!) year old Bolshunov beats super-doper MJS and the rest of the Norwegians by 2minutes (incidentally the same margins as Bjørgen), but gets almost no scrutiny on here? 21 year old, on the longest, toughest ski disipline in the xc world, in the olympics. The one people usually start winning at age 28 and beyond and he just left Sundby and took back 40 seconds(!) on Niskanen. 40 seconds on the fastest classic skier in the world, on a top day which he prepared for during the entire year. From a nation that has been banned for systematic doping, and have the most athletes banned so far in the olympics.
...
Seems plausible.

Can you clarify?
You're arguing that 26 year old Iivo Niskanen and 21 year old Bolshunov were on the juice yesterday, because they did beat the super-doper MJS together with the rest of the exceptionals?
Or was your argument that Bjoergens victory was not dubious because she is well past 28?
Or because she has been smashing the field like this for many years?
Should we expect the victory margin (incidentally) to be the same in a 50K as in a 30K?

Btw, what's your take on Lofshus outburst today against FIS and the doping regulations? (as a Norwegian)
Discgear
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25 Feb 2018 17:20

Regarding whether it's more suspicious for somebody to do this for the first time or to still be doing this after 15 years, there will always be outliers on both ends of the bell-curve.
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Re: Re:

25 Feb 2018 18:00

Discgear wrote:
Oude Geuze wrote:Marit Bjørgen may or may not be cheating, but she has won 30k's like this for more than 10 years, meanwhile Niskanen and 21(!) year old Bolshunov beats super-doper MJS and the rest of the Norwegians by 2minutes (incidentally the same margins as Bjørgen), but gets almost no scrutiny on here? 21 year old, on the longest, toughest ski disipline in the xc world, in the olympics. The one people usually start winning at age 28 and beyond and he just left Sundby and took back 40 seconds(!) on Niskanen. 40 seconds on the fastest classic skier in the world, on a top day which he prepared for during the entire year. From a nation that has been banned for systematic doping, and have the most athletes banned so far in the olympics.
...
Seems plausible.

Can you clarify?
You're arguing that 26 year old Iivo Niskanen and 21 year old Bolshunov were on the juice yesterday, because they did beat the super-doper MJS together with the rest of the exceptionals?
Or was your argument that Bjoergens victory was not dubious because she is well past 28?
Or because she has been smashing the field like this for many years?
Should we expect the victory margin (incidentally) to be the same in a 50K as in a 30K?

Btw, what's your take on Lofshus outburst today against FIS and the doping regulations? (as a Norwegian)


I’m pointing out biases and inconsistencies in the logic of the uninterrupted circle jerk that was forming. I get that it’s annoying seeing Norwegian skiers win all the time, I understand that causes resentment, but at least try not to make it so blatant. I even hedged my statement by saying Bolshunov and Niskanen were “barely mentioned” itt, but I look back and they weren’t.

Lofshus is annoyed that a skier he believes to be innocent couldn’t compete in the olympics I think, but I don’t know the guy and really don’t know more than you guys.
«Sky helped for the GC, so did BMC - a lot of teams tried but one rider isn't enough. Not against De Gendt. He's like 10 riders.»
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25 Feb 2018 18:48

Fwiw, i think niskanen is like everyone else among the top contenders. Talented and well, erm, prepared, ie Im not giving him a pass. His performance in the 50k raised my eyebrows and only Bolshunov's comeback made it look less ridiculous. Yeah he is good and all but leading from the gun and overpowering everyone is too much. Yet in appearance, it was not nearly as dominant as björgen's channeling of muhlegg once again.

Löfshus is entitled to his opinion. But it is comical that the opinion is an "alternative fact". Johaug was doping and busted. She got off easy.
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25 Feb 2018 19:58

So Bolshunov, in one of his first world tour level 50k’s, troubled in the first ski change and wound up at the back of the field which he then preceded to overtake, before closing a 40 second gap to the most dominant performing 50k athlete in a modern race at a time when the rest of the field lost almost a minute while going flat out, and your take home was: “now it doesn’t look as ridiculous”. Not, “wtf is happening here?” I’m not even saying anyone were doped, I believe niskanen is just that good on his day, I also believe Bolshunov is a massive talent. It’s the laughable double standard itt that bothers me.
«Sky helped for the GC, so did BMC - a lot of teams tried but one rider isn't enough. Not against De Gendt. He's like 10 riders.»
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25 Feb 2018 21:03

On Niskanen's part, yes, just leaving everyone in the dust would have looked more ridiculous than the race we witnessed. That would have been more wtf to me.

As for Bolshunov, feel free to extend my reservations to him as well. I am in the systemic doping problem camp. Some performances still ring the bell a bit louder than others.
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Re: Doping in XC skiing

25 Feb 2018 21:30

Super doper Sundby wasn't so super until he suddenly was. Started to double poles classic sprints, etc. Now having been caught, he may be subject to a bit more scrutiny. Imagine how much testing the Olympic Athletes from Russia have gotten the past months and during the Games... I HATE how their nation's names was intentionally so disgraced, and forced such upon TV presenters who happily obliged.
Bols is looking remarkable for sure. Like JT Boe, or T Boe when he suddenly arrived. No reason to assume Niskanen and Bols are clean, but that's not the point. The point is how Norwegians are considered clean even when caught. Like Armstrong in 1999. LEt's not forget the Swiss adventures he had. Norwegians may well have had theirs. Positives shuffled away. Remember the biathlon vice prez hiring Ferrari to dope the heck out of his son? Higher ups are the worst.
Cloxxki
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Re: Doping in XC skiing

25 Feb 2018 22:02

Cloxxki wrote:Super doper Sundby wasn't so super until he suddenly was. Started to double poles classic sprints, etc. Now having been caught, he may be subject to a bit more scrutiny. Imagine how much testing the Olympic Athletes from Russia have gotten the past months and during the Games... I HATE how their nation's names was intentionally so disgraced, and forced such upon TV presenters who happily obliged.
Bols is looking remarkable for sure. Like JT Boe, or T Boe when he suddenly arrived. No reason to assume Niskanen and Bols are clean, but that's not the point. The point is how Norwegians are considered clean even when caught. Like Armstrong in 1999. LEt's not forget the Swiss adventures he had. Norwegians may well have had theirs. Positives shuffled away. Remember the biathlon vice prez hiring Ferrari to dope the heck out of his son? Higher ups are the worst.

Yes, our local hero Taschler, if he wasnt caught his son in law Joe Dürr would probably be racing again, this time under Italian flag.
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Re: Doping in XC skiing

25 Feb 2018 22:50

I just think the higher up you go in any professional sport, the higher the chances people will be doped, whether they are from Russia, Norway, Italy, Sweden, Austria, US, Canada...doesn't matter. I can't see number 2 and 3 being doped, but number 1 NOT being doped. No chance. It's like cycling during the Armstrong years all over again. Armstrong's rivals all falling left and right and people thought he was supposed to be clean?? Seriously? Either all the top skiers are clean or all of them are dirty. I don't think there's a middle ground. Didn't the SVT documentary in Feb/March 2013 talk about a WC race on Jan 1997, where all the top 30 men in that race had suspicious blood values? If Bolshunov and Larkov are doping, I can't see how Niskanen couldn't be doping. And yes, these guys are very talented. Niskanen's technique is rock solid. Bolshunov can race any distance and either style, though classic is the better side for him.
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Re: Doping in XC skiing

26 Feb 2018 00:01

BullsFan22 wrote:I just think the higher up you go in any professional sport, the higher the chances people will be doped, whether they are from Russia, Norway, Italy, Sweden, Austria, US, Canada...doesn't matter. I can't see number 2 and 3 being doped, but number 1 NOT being doped. No chance. It's like cycling during the Armstrong years all over again. Armstrong's rivals all falling left and right and people thought he was supposed to be clean?? Seriously? Either all the top skiers are clean or all of them are dirty. I don't think there's a middle ground. Didn't the SVT documentary in Feb/March 2013 talk about a WC race on Jan 1997, where all the top 30 men in that race had suspicious blood values? If Bolshunov and Larkov are doping, I can't see how Niskanen couldn't be doping. And yes, these guys are very talented. Niskanen's technique is rock solid. Bolshunov can race any distance and either style, though classic is the better side for him.

The last day of the games may not be the best gauge (some dare or manage to take more replenishments during the games/tour), but the HUGE gaps in the 50k and 30k do favor the cleanliness of at least some of the back markers. We can't presume them to be sandbagging all the way to the finish line, in the Olympics. They worked too hard to get there.
Also the sprint quali shows that there is room to take parts, maybe even qualify top-30 within reasonable distance behind presumed dopers to be presumed either at least somewhat clean or utterly untalented.

Don't the Swedish biathletes now ski (and shoot) better over the whole than Pichler's Russians did? And he almost lost the right to coach over them?
Cloxxki
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Re: Doping in XC skiing

26 Feb 2018 00:09

Cloxxki wrote:
BullsFan22 wrote:I just think the higher up you go in any professional sport, the higher the chances people will be doped, whether they are from Russia, Norway, Italy, Sweden, Austria, US, Canada...doesn't matter. I can't see number 2 and 3 being doped, but number 1 NOT being doped. No chance. It's like cycling during the Armstrong years all over again. Armstrong's rivals all falling left and right and people thought he was supposed to be clean?? Seriously? Either all the top skiers are clean or all of them are dirty. I don't think there's a middle ground. Didn't the SVT documentary in Feb/March 2013 talk about a WC race on Jan 1997, where all the top 30 men in that race had suspicious blood values? If Bolshunov and Larkov are doping, I can't see how Niskanen couldn't be doping. And yes, these guys are very talented. Niskanen's technique is rock solid. Bolshunov can race any distance and either style, though classic is the better side for him.

The last day of the games may not be the best gauge (some dare or manage to take more replenishments during the games/tour), but the HUGE gaps in the 50k and 30k do favor the cleanliness of at least some of the back markers. We can't presume them to be sandbagging all the way to the finish line, in the Olympics. They worked too hard to get there.
Also the sprint quali shows that there is room to take parts, maybe even qualify top-30 within reasonable distance behind presumed dopers to be presumed either at least somewhat clean or utterly untalented.

Don't the Swedish biathletes now ski (and shoot) better over the whole than Pichler's Russians did? And he almost lost the right to coach over them?


Yeah the Swedish biathletes success almost defies belief. Kind of like the Czechs a few seasons ago. If one or two people ski well at a championship, ok, but pretty much the entire team??
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26 Feb 2018 00:31

There's more to that though, related to the systems Pichler inherited there. The Russian system is quite rigid owing to the large number of biathletes competing for places and their historic depth and regional systems. Races like the national championships at season's end and the important Christmas Russian Cup races in Izhevsk set the team for following sections of the season, and rigid performance criteria are in place, which meant that Pichler was unable to do his ground-up development processes. After she destroyed the field in the 2013 Junior Worlds at the youth level, Pichler wanted to train Kaisheva (who was there in Pyeongchang with OAR) with the World Cup A-team, but was told that there was no room for her and as a Junior-age athlete she would continue to train with the other Juniors. You then have the other politics about selections, there's a lot of factionalism with regional sports authorities and coaches in competition with one another for the available spots. With their expectations and their depth, it's hard for young athletes to get extended runs in the team at the top level because there's always somebody capable waiting in the wings, so they couldn't treat Kaisheva as a project like the French did with Braisaz or the Germans did with Dahlmeier.

When Pichler returned to the Swedish team, there was little choice other than to gamble on youth. Ekholm and Olofsson-Zidek were but a memory and nobody had replaced them. With Ferry and Bergman leaving the men's team, there was little bar Lindström to shout about among the men either. Athletes who had reached their development ceiling and were getting minor World Cup points were therefore marginalized in favour of younger athletes who would not get the same results now but who would hopefully get better results in the future. Some, like Jenny Jonsson, retired, others like Elisabeth Högberg fought tooth and nail to prove the coaches wrong and that she could still offer something. The team lost starters but persistence began to pay off last season as the likes of Anna Magnusson and Hanna Öberg started stringing together decent results. Hanna's been out for much of the early season here, but both she and Samuelsson were seen as good prospects and have had decent enough results in World Cup races before, just not to the level shown here. When Pichler was with the Russians, the default position was to back experience, as they could score more points, but that stifled young athletes from settling at the World Cup in favour of athletes for whom a top 30 was usually the best they could hope for - plus the more experienced athletes knew better how to work form for the selection races, marginalising young talent due to the rigidness of the system because the good performances in those selection races came with race start guarantees as a reward, whereas the default with Pichler's Swedish team has been to back potential over immediate performance as they did not have any reliable sources of good enough results to be able to settle for those lower end points.

The Swedish results at Pyeongchang have been well above expectations, of course, but there are enough differences in the sports bureaucracies of Russia and Sweden that directly comparing Pichler's Russians in Sochi with his Swedes in Pyeongchang is hard to call fair.
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26 Feb 2018 06:51

LS, interesting and initiated reading. Thanks.
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Re: Re:

26 Feb 2018 07:51

Discgear wrote:Btw, what's your take on Lofshus outburst today against FIS and the doping regulations? (as a Norwegian)
Sorry to butt in here, but most Norwegians are shaking their head in disgust at Løfshus' outburst. The majority because of the timing and the rest because they think she got what she deserved.
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Re: Re:

26 Feb 2018 09:24

kosmonaut wrote:
Discgear wrote:Btw, what's your take on Lofshus outburst today against FIS and the doping regulations? (as a Norwegian)
Sorry to butt in here, but most Norwegians are shaking their head in disgust at Løfshus' outburst. The majority because of the timing and the rest because they think she got what she deserved.

i can't speak for the norwegians like you, but i can read it and IT SEEM the løfshus outburst is getting a refreshing look/critisized in the media...generally in the same media that raised most questions in the sundby doping.

the quite unambiguous one like this, calling it arrogant like it looks to those outside norway
https://www.vg.no/sport/langrenn/i/0EompE/skammelig-av-loefshus

and a slap on the shoulder, sort of 'not the right time when we bask in the olympic glory'...
https://www.tv2.no/sport/9705538/
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Re: Re:

26 Feb 2018 10:27

kosmonaut wrote:
Discgear wrote:Btw, what's your take on Lofshus outburst today against FIS and the doping regulations? (as a Norwegian)
Sorry to butt in here, but most Norwegians are shaking their head in disgust at Løfshus' outburst. The majority because of the timing and the rest because they think she got what she deserved.

I just read Welhavens excellent article from the link Python provided. However, the readers comments underneath are a quite depressing read, with some exceptions. Bjoergens support for Lofshus outburst is also worrying. It makes you wonder if Lofshus maybe just vocalized in public, what is a shared view within the Norse XC aristocracy.
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