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Doping in XC skiing

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FWIW the Russian biathletes had an absolute nightmare at their worlds (in front of their home fans) just after the Oslo worlds too.

Therese Johaug is awesome. Much like with some cyclists, I'm prepared to accept her performances more than some - she's still young and thus liable to still be improving, and her main strength lies in the climbs, and she weighs a lot less than most of the other competitors, thus this is an advantage.

Pictures of her next to Vibeke Skøfterud really shows you the extremes of the builds that can succeed in XC.

Massive, massive fan of hers though I may be, I did baulk a bit at Magdalena Neuner's incredible relay performance in Khantiy-Mansiysk. I know that she was surrounded by weak skiers, and I know she's already one of the fastest on the world circuit... but she crushed the field at the Worlds, then won the sprint at Holmenkollen despite being ill, then pulled out of the pursuit straight away. Then again, she has previous form for doing this - she does work herself insanely for big events then the fatigue comedown is brutal.
 
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Northug is simply a better sprinter than the other distance guys and has always been outstanding in that regard, even as a junior. He's not that great against the clock. There are maybe 10 skiers with bigger engines than Petter. Is that less suspicious?

Libertine Seguros said:
FWIW the Russian biathletes had an absolute nightmare at their worlds (in front of their home fans) just after the Oslo worlds too.
The men won 3 silver medals in 5 races (Ustyugov, Maksimov and the relay team). I wouldn't call that a nightmare, but they didn't raise their level, except for Maksimov on the shooting range.

Therese Johaug is awesome. Much like with some cyclists, I'm prepared to accept her performances more than some - she's still young and thus liable to still be improving, and her main strength lies in the climbs, and she weighs a lot less than most of the other competitors, thus this is an advantage.
Johaug's stride frequency is just insane. Obviously, weighing like 40 kg's helps, but still, she's very, very impressive. There'll be another chance for her to display her dominant climbing next year in the "World Uphill Trophy", a WC race which should be similar to the last TdS stage.

Massive, massive fan of hers though I may be, I did baulk a bit at Magdalena Neuner's incredible relay performance in Khantiy-Mansiysk. I know that she was surrounded by weak skiers, and I know she's already one of the fastest on the world circuit... but she crushed the field at the Worlds,
She was 8s faster than Domracheva in the mixed relay, 12s faster than Mäkäräinen in the sprint, 6s faster than Gössner and 12s faster than Mäkäräinen (who beat her comfortably on the last lap) in the pursuit and 11s faster than Domracheva in the mass start. The only dominant skiing performances were in the 15 km and women's relay. But in the relay, she faced poor skiers and in the 15k, every fast skier had a nightmare on the shooting range and may not have bothered to exert themselves. Afterall, Mäkäräinen, Kuzmina and Domracheva were barely faster than someone like Ekholm and Kaisa looked fresh at the finish line.

then won the sprint at Holmenkollen despite being ill, then pulled out of the pursuit straight away.
I thought she got ill after that race? Her performance in the mass start was certainly well below par, unlike in the sprint.

Then again, she has previous form for doing this - she does work herself insanely for big events then the fatigue comedown is brutal.
Not really. She was outskied in a majority of her medal winning races at the worlds and olympics. She's usually strong after the main event and usually has her best performances (relative to the competition anyway) in ordinary World Cup races.
 
Tyler'sTwin said:
The men won 3 silver medals in 5 races (Ustyugov, Maksimov and the relay team). I wouldn't call that a nightmare, but they didn't raise their level, except for Maksimov on the shooting range.
The women, however, were absolutely atrocious. The only Russian woman who even did herself justice wasn't even representing Russia.

Johaug's stride frequency is just insane. Obviously, weighing like 40 kg's helps, but still, she's very, very impressive. There'll be another chance for her to display her dominant climbing next year in the "World Uphill Trophy", a WC race which should be similar to the last TdS stage.
This I need to see. Johaug on Alpe Cermis is still my favourite sporting performance of the year. Set the bar high early.

She was 8s faster than Domracheva in the mixed relay, 12s faster than Mäkäräinen in the sprint, 6s faster than Gössner and 12s faster than Mäkäräinen (who beat her comfortably on the last lap) in the pursuit and 11s faster than Domracheva in the mass start. The only dominant skiing performances were in the 15 km and women's relay. But in the relay, she faced poor skiers and in the 15k, every fast skier had a nightmare on the shooting range and may not have bothered to exert themselves. Afterall, Mäkäräinen, Kuzmina and Domracheva were barely faster than someone like Ekholm and Kaisa looked fresh at the finish line.
While much of this was true, I was specifying the relay as where I baulked. But then again I also acknowledge that she was up against some less than impressive skiers at the time (and Marie Dorin, who is hardly in Neuner's league for ski speed at any point in the year) which really made her performance look more spectacular than it already was. Darya Domracheva did a great job of coming into form for the end of season; Kaisa and Miri are two of the fastest skiers on the biathlon circuit anyway. Still, to see what the margins for ski time actually were is rather more comforting.


I thought she got ill after that race? Her performance in the mass start was certainly well below par, unlike in the sprint.
Her quotes were that she wasn't feeling good before the sprint and considered DNSing, but decided to go through with it and surprised herself with how well she was doing. However she knew she was already unwell; probably that level of exertion exacerbated things and her condition worsened, so she pulled out of the pursuit (the fact that she was in contention for the Sprint World Cup - which she won - and the Mass Start World Cup - which she didn't - but not in contention for the Pursuit World Cup likely also played a role in this decision).

Not really. She was outskied in a majority of her medal winning races at the worlds and olympics. She's usually strong after the main event and usually has her best performances (relative to the competition anyway) in ordinary World Cup races.
I didn't necessarily say that she hit form in those big races, just that she'd have a fatigue comedown. She pulled out of the last Olympic event, but was on excellent form at Khantiy.

I suppose this is the problem with a sport like biathlon though, sometimes the best performance is illusory when we're coming to discussing the ski times. Miriam Gößner is routinely among the fastest skiers, but some of her best times go totally unnoticed because they coincide with woeful shooting displays. Similarly, though I baulked at Neuner's relay performance, the fact of the matter is that she was chasing down a relatively slow skier who has had little time on the tracks this season. After all, nobody would have thought Sella's Giro wins so ridiculous if he were only outclimbing non-climbers.

I am also a big fan of Neuner's and a bit of a paranoiac, so instead of being suspicious, I was being concerned. I've been let down by enough favourites, so I have a bit of that cycling fan mindset of admiring a great performance but if I see something too great then I start to worry.

But yea, the performances on the face of it weren't actually anything TOO out of the ordinary for her.
 
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In this context, it should be mentioned that Neuner has been know to speak out about being tested NOT OFTEN ENOUGH. She felt that de pressure and money involved were severe enough that she's like athletes to be monitored more closely. She's clean, and doesn't want to have to compete in an under-tested sport.
We all know that tests are worthless when blood bags get juggled, but it came across quite sincere.
 
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Libertine Seguros said:
FWIW the Russian biathletes had an absolute nightmare at their worlds (in front of their home fans) just after the Oslo worlds too.

Therese Johaug is awesome. Much like with some cyclists, I'm prepared to accept her performances more than some - she's still young and thus liable to still be improving, and her main strength lies in the climbs, and she weighs a lot less than most of the other competitors, thus this is an advantage.

Pictures of her next to Vibeke Skøfterud really shows you the extremes of the builds that can succeed in XC.

Massive, massive fan of hers though I may be, I did baulk a bit at Magdalena Neuner's incredible relay performance in Khantiy-Mansiysk. I know that she was surrounded by weak skiers, and I know she's already one of the fastest on the world circuit... but she crushed the field at the Worlds, then won the sprint at Holmenkollen despite being ill, then pulled out of the pursuit straight away. Then again, she has previous form for doing this - she does work herself insanely for big events then the fatigue comedown is brutal.
Agree on both Johaug and Neuner. Althought he types of arguments I'd use for Johaug, I used to use for LA.
Johaug isn't so much lighter, she has less overhead weight on her body. Smaller women usually get smaller lungs also. She's just lean and mean.

I am a huge Neuner fan. Her performances are head-scratching at times. Then, she's been like that all her young life.
Oslo, she lost a minute of ski time in the Mass Start, and was looking way bad. A short race with no mental pressure (feeling ill) can still be skied really hard I would say. I've done dual CX races with a fever, and until I lost strength (early second race that day, with a huge lead already) I was riding pretty fine.
Neuner seems a bit like Gunda Niemann, or Justina Kowalckzyk. Not the smoothest of technicians, but managing huge glide from each stroke. Power. She skies half a gear faster than the rest (poling on every skate leg in a slow halftime rythm). And she's a way nice girl. Always see her chatting to fellow racers after crossing the line. Bjoergen...I just don't like her and get too many little hints to support that.
 
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RdBiker said:
It is speculated that Finnish skier Marjo Matikainen used EPO as early as 1988. Her teammate has said that she saw a bottle of EPO on her desk at a training camp and later found out what is was by investigating what Erythropoietin meant. The athlete of course denies it and no other proof has arisen so I don't know if she could've used EPO that early.
I'm late to this thread, but I can add some purely anecdotal evidence to EPO being around in the late eighties. I was a velonews subscriber way back then and they reported multiple death by heart attack of under-23 riders.

What someone needs is to dig in competitive cycling media of the time and see what's published to deny/prove my claim. I clearly recall reading it. I'm just one guy with a faulty memory.
 
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DirtyWorks said:
I'm late to this thread, but I can add some purely anecdotal evidence to EPO being around in the late eighties. I was a velonews subscriber way back then and they reported multiple death by heart attack of under-23 riders.

What someone needs is to dig in competitive cycling media of the time and see what's published to deny/prove my claim. I clearly recall reading it. I'm just one guy with a faulty memory.
At the 1988 Calgary Olympics, there were some notable out-of-this-world performances. The most notable, unfortunately by a fellow countrywoman of mine, in speed skating. Yvonne van Gennip beat the unbeatable East-German squad of non-deniers (we all know the stories of unbelievable training load and PEDs involved), taking gold in 3 distances. No-one had seen that coming. She did so, after a long recovery from an injury.
 
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Cloxxki said:
In this context, it should be mentioned that Neuner has been know to speak out about being tested NOT OFTEN ENOUGH.
first. i agree with you both on an emotional and performance level about neuner-- she is likable, good looking and candid. when she speaks, unlike with many northern german or generally nordic people, you hear her soul.

second, the reason i bothered posting this, is that neuner, whilst not denying what you said, has ALSO spoken out STRONGLY in opposite of the sentiment you properly highlighted.

having read some of your posts, i surmise you may understand enough german to hear what i just said...

http://www.bild.de/sport/olympia-2010-vancouver/vancouver/auf-die-blaujacken-werden-nicht-wie-menschen-behandelt-11574020.bild.html

again, i like her and i believe she speaks as convincingly as an elite athlete can. the outburst i linked included...
 
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I don't know whether Neuner dopes or not, but I do know that she was outstanding in the German student's cup from her debut at age 11 and that she won the junior (U-21) worlds (shortly) before turning 17, so she appears to be quite talented. Another one who was a fantastic youth/junior is Charlotte Kalla. Mäkäräinen and Bjørgen were quite unimpressive, but there can be major differences in training load and quality at that age. Northug's training load is said to have been ~40% greater than Marcus Hellner's.

The level of skiing is most certainly lower in biathlon. Gössner was 21st in the 10k F at the olympics last year, 1.16 down on Kalla, but to be fair, there's a good chance Miriam is stronger this year.
Mäkäräinen lost 30s on Follis in a 5k F race in mid-november. Maybe a bit too early to draw any conclusions, but they both started their respective seasons quite well.

Several of the norwegian male biathletes have done quite well in XC though. In fact, a quarter of the 15k F races since 2006 have been won by a norwegian biathlete.
 
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since we, the posters in this thread, so easily mixed the two different sports --
xc skiing and the shooting whilst xc skiing -- we need to acknowledge that doping goals and practice in the two sports are different though to some extent related.

one needs as much aerobic advantage as possible in xc skiing.

not necessarily the case in a biathlon where high-pace racing and calm shooting could be counterproductive. that said, i acknowledge blood doping benefit in the sport of nordic biothlon but it's less pronounced than in straight xc skiing.

neuner or any other outstanding bi-athlete are subject to the above...
 
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python said:
first. i agree with you both on an emotional and performance level about neuner-- she is likable, good looking and candid. when she speaks, unlike with many northern german or generally nordic people, you hear her soul.

second, the reason i bothered posting this, is that neuner, whilst not denying what you said, has ALSO spoken out STRONGLY in opposite of the sentiment you properly highlighted.

having read some of your posts, i surmise you may understand enough german to hear what i just said...

http://www.bild.de/sport/olympia-2010-vancouver/vancouver/auf-die-blaujacken-werden-nicht-wie-menschen-behandelt-11574020.bild.html

again, i like her and i believe she speaks as convincingly as an elite athlete can. the outburst i linked included...
I'm Dutch, but above average in German, speak it daily. Neuner complains about the blue jackets working for the games in general. The way they treat athletes after a race. Other Germans also had things to say about this.
It seemed quite a human response, nothing like the crap we get in cycling.
 
To be fair to Neuner, those comments were not against the testing but the testERS and their attitudes to the athletes. And we know that the testers can be pretty heavy-handed at times (remember Óscar Pereiro being tested in the corridor of a bar back in '09?), and have to adhere to some pretty strict rules.

Mäkäräinen's reinvention this year had me rather worried early on, but the fact of the matter is, she's always been a pretty good skier for a biathlete thanks to her XC background, and she is pretty much a one-woman team; changes in her training program and an improvement of her shooting can therefore allow for a wilder swing in performance.

With regards Gößner, we should of course remember that she's still very young and therefore should be improving; also it is worth remembering that she is a biathlete first and a Langlauferin second; she has talent at the latter, but prefers the former and focuses on that. Her weakness as a biathlete is her shooting, so if she works on this it is inevitable that those who train solely for XC should leave her behind at that discipline. And let's also recognise that wintersports-minded Germans are brought up on a diet of biathlon; cross-country skiing with a rifle on your back is a different beast to cross-country skiing without one.

yes, the doping benefit is likely to be more immediate and/or a more telling factor in XC. And this thread was initially about XC skiing in extremis. But just as a thread on doping in cycling cannot afford to ignore MTB, CX and triathlon, a thread on doping in XC skiing cannot afford to ignore biathlon or Nordic Combined.

(Plus, we have Ekaterina Iourieva's recent return from an EPO ban to look at to see what kind of boost doping can bring in biathlon).
 
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Some comments on doping, dopers or thinly veiled accusations of doping from various biathletes (and a coach). Mostly swedes because that's my nationality... Some of the quotes are written down from my memory and might not be 100% accurate.

Bjorn Ferry after narrowly missing out on bronze at the 2007 worlds: "I have not given up yet. He (Deryzemlya) has to take a leak first and then we'll see. I know who he is, but he tends to end up around 40th place rather than 3rd. I would not be surprised if he was caught, but it's very rare so I guess he wont be.

Some compete very little in the World Cup and then pop up at the championships and go really fast. One might think that it seems weird.

Wada and independent organizations should do all the testing, not international federations. I don't think they want any scandals."

Ted Armgren (mostly competes in the IBU cup) on his blog: "Among these skiers are also certain you do not want to see. Doping-swine Iaroschenko arrived today. He is banned until December, but seems to have come here to prepare with some training buddies. If you ask me, he should pack his bags, head back east and get a new job. They say you should give people a second chance, but I remain doubtful..."

Wolfgang Pichler (a coach):

After a russian tested positive at the 2008 worlds: “We have to be serious about the doping problems in our sport. In the last winter Olympics in Torino Russian Olga Pyleva delivered a positive doping test. So did Natalja Burdiga in last year’s summer Grand Prix. If there is another positive Russian doping test something has to be done.

We have seen examples of suspended athletes coming back after two years’ suspension, pretending nothing has happened. Or where their national team just presents new athletes that fill the positions. The rules are not strict enough and something better has to be done. Therefore we ask on behalf of the trainers and athletes, that nations which obviously are not afraid of cheating, must be punished.

We must do more, we have had five cases in the last two years. The good reputation of Biathlon is at stake."

After 3 russians tested positive for EPO in 2009: "I am not surprised. I have always suspected that the Russians were on something. Three at the same race - it cannot be anything but systematic and it has been going on for many years. I think the whole team take drugs.

Putin should stop the team from going to the Worlds. If not Putin, then the IBU must stop them. The best punishment is if the nation cannot start in international competitions for a year or two. If they have some character themselves they will withdraw from the Olympics. Then the next Olympics will be at home in Sochi in 2014 and it would get the Russian federation to clean up. If they do not do it themselves, the IBU must force them."

Pichler explains that several national team coaches in a meeting during the World Cup finals in Oslo last spring called for tougher sentencing by the IBU.

"We said then that if a nation has two or more doping cases in two years, the entire national team should be sanctioned.

This damages our sport tremendously. Look at the sport of cycling - it is dead in Germany today.

Look at the ski times for the Russians at the Worlds - they were not believable. Take Achatova for example: she was poor all season last year and then she came to the Worlds and was great. We talked a lot about it. That something was not right, but we could not accuse them of doping without proof.

I am quite sure that we have lost medals because they doped. They beat us in the mixed relay at the World Championships last year, for example. I cannot imagine that they were clean then."

After the form of the non-caught russians declined shortly thereafter: "I think they are clean now, at the moment. Just look at their ski times. If I meet them, I will ask: "What happened to your ski times?" It applies to Sleptsova and the others. Where is their ski form? Where has it gone since the doping cases? Have you lost it? They all ski considerably slower.

There are six positive doping tests. Three times Jarosjenko, twice Ahkatova and Jourijeva. Yet they try to portray it as if they are victims."

He claims he has most of the other nations behind them in their attacks on Russia, but understand that not many are called out and publicly voice her opinion.

"I think it is not always so easy. There are many who have one-year contracts. They are afraid to do it now, but I understand it. I speak on behalf of the coaches. I am more than happy to do so.

I am just so angry with doping. They do not know what it costs us. Ask the sponsors, ask everyone."

Do you fear that the same will happen here as in the Tour de France, where the major TV channels pulled out?

"Of course. The Russians do not understand it. We have real problems. They are so negative for our sport."

Mattias Nilsson after the flurry of russian EPO positives: "Yep it was time for the news I've been waiting for all weekend. The rumors have gone, russian biathletes doped. Why are we not surprised? And the others will act as if they did not know anything."

Anna Carin Olofsson-Zidek on Anastazia Kuzmina's Olympic gold: "Maybe her top form arrived with the mail?"

Staffan Eklund (coach) on Kuzmina: "I would like to know what secrets she has and how she managed to peak so impressively right now."

Magdalena Neuner:

In 2007: "I am very disappointed with the IBU. I was not drug tested a single time from April to October. This is also true for every other DSV biathlete I have spoken to."

About the russians: "You congratulated them honestly when they beat you and they smile in your face. It makes my stomach turn."

"This is on the one hand harmful for the reputation of the sport, but on the other hand, it is good that it came out. Finally, someone has been caught."

"They (the remaining russians) are in an extremely good mood. They sit at the table and laugh and the atmosphere is great. I don't understand how they can be so good-humored. I think it's just totally disappointing and sad that they all act as if nothing had happened."

Asked if the sport is clean: "It would be naive to say yes. Clearly it isn't, because there has been doping cases.

We want tighter controls."

"A good performance does not fall from the sky."
 
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Tyler'sTwin said:
I don't know whether Neuner dopes or not, but I do know that she was outstanding in the German student's cup from her debut at age 11 and that she won the junior (U-21) worlds (shortly) before turning 17, so she appears to be quite talented. Another one who was a fantastic youth/junior is Charlotte Kalla. Mäkäräinen and Bjørgen were quite unimpressive, but there can be major differences in training load and quality at that age. Northug's training load is said to have been ~40% greater than Marcus Hellner's.

The level of skiing is most certainly lower in biathlon. Gössner was 21st in the 10k F at the olympics last year, 1.16 down on Kalla, but to be fair, there's a good chance Miriam is stronger this year.
Mäkäräinen lost 30s on Follis in a 5k F race in mid-november. Maybe a bit too early to draw any conclusions, but they both started their respective seasons quite well.

Several of the norwegian male biathletes have done quite well in XC though. In fact, a quarter of the 15k F races since 2006 have been won by a norwegian biathlete.
The top Norwegian male biathletes who jump over to XC, tend to win when they do. Ronny Hafsas for instance. Tries a special WC, wins it. Bjoernadalen even this year, tries a relay, sets a really fast time.
Oddly, further cross-matching barely takes place.
Biathlon and XC will both have a narrow top in the women's field. I'd love to see Johaug and Neuner battling it out, though. Neuner is no lightweight, but seems to get herself uphill quite well.
If the top biathlon men are equal skaters to top special XCers, why wouldn't the women be? The top women seem to display ski speed better than the backmarkers of the men's field. God forbid they'd ever get to ski the same course and distance to allow for comparison to the men.
Oslo was used by both disciplines, so the finish km could be times, but there's conditions and a 4kg riffle in the mix.
 
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At least Maksimovs latest World Championships miracle was all about perfect shooting for a change. He was his usual World Cup slow self.

Cloxxki said:
The top Norwegian male biathletes who jump over to XC, tend to win when they do. Ronny Hafsas for instance. Tries a special WC, wins it. Bjoernadalen even this year, tries a relay, sets a really fast time.
Oddly, further cross-matching barely takes place.
Biathlon and XC will both have a narrow top in the women's field. I'd love to see Johaug and Neuner battling it out, though. Neuner is no lightweight, but seems to get herself uphill quite well.
If the top biathlon men are equal skaters to top special XCers, why wouldn't the women be? The top women seem to display ski speed better than the backmarkers of the men's field. God forbid they'd ever get to ski the same course and distance to allow for comparison to the men.
Oslo was used by both disciplines, so the finish km could be times, but there's conditions and a 4kg riffle in the mix.
I doubt that Neuner could hang with the very best cross country skiers because of Gössner's and Mäkäräinen's results versus top XC skiers. There may not be that many relevant results to go by for the ladies, but the bottom line is that the men have proven they can podium while the women haven't. But I'm certainly not convinced that Bø, Fourcade and Svendsen are at the level Lars Berger and Bjørndalen were at a few years ago. It'll be interesting to see what Bø and probably Svendsen can do at the XC WC opener next season.
 
Ney the Viking said:
How is peoples feeling about Petter Northug? I get a bad "Di-luca/Cobra" taste in my mouth everytime he just powers away from way more experienced and older guys. I know he was considered talent already from a junior, but well yeah, him and that big swiss powerhouse makes the cynic in me itch :\
Since when does Northug ever power away from anyone except in the sprints? He is very rarely the strongest skier in the race which becomes absolutely clear when you look at his performance in interval starts. There he gets beaten by lots of riders but in the mass starts it's a lot easier to follow and the skiers that are better than him do not have the same sprint that he does. If he was a cyclist he would be considered the ultimate wheelsucker by this forum. Northugs strength is his sprint at the end of a long race. In those situations he is much better than everyone else but his motor is not the best by far.
 
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Regarding the Russians.
While I can't deny that they seem to have a doping culture, likely due to vast pressure on athletes, and zero prospects in life should they fail at sports...
I get a strong impression that Russians are just amateurist. They get caught. A lot. A Russian's chance of getting caught seems much higher than a morally equal from another country. We can't dream that the Russians are the only dopers in XC and Biathlon. Let alone that the worst dopers in these sports would be so amateuristic.

Biathletes may have shooting to care about, at least they don't need to nourish classic technique muscles. They'll certainly put in classic workouts, but they'll never be expected to perform while doing it.
I wouldn't be surprised at all if a biathlete with identical 10k run speed as another XC skier, would still bring a quicker skating pace. And of course the biathlete can forget winning medails in XC Classic. They don't even try. Neither do top XC'er try to win a WC biathlon WC.
 
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ingsve said:
Since when does Northug ever power away from anyone except in the sprints? He is very rarely the strongest skier in the race which becomes absolutely clear when you look at his performance in interval starts. There he gets beaten by lots of riders but in the mass starts it's a lot easier to follow and the skiers that are better than him do not have the same sprint that he does. If he was a cyclist he would be considered the ultimate wheelsucker by this forum. Northugs strength is his sprint at the end of a long race. In those situations he is much better than everyone else but his motor is not the best by far.
Thats the impression I get as well, however I just seem to remember him in the WC being at the front and trying attacks a lot more than usual, and still be successful. Maybe the danish commentators using his name every 10 secons made the impression worse than it was :eek:. But the reason I asked you guys opinion was that I was in doubt.

Also nice to see so many Neuner fans in here :p What makes me believe that she is clean(ish) is that she does have ups and downs, she has good days and bad days, and on really good days noone can touch her. The reason I became a fan (back in 06 or something) was her all out i dont know how to loose attitude. Just firing that gun like it was an automatic and on with it :D
Also its hard to imagine a cute, and seemingly very nice girl being a nasty doper :rolleyes:
 
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Ney the Viking said:
Thats the impression I get as well, however I just seem to remember him in the WC being at the front and trying attacks a lot more than usual, and still be successful. Maybe the danish commentators using his name every 10 secons made the impression worse than it was :eek:. But the reason I asked you guys opinion was that I was in doubt.

Also nice to see so many Neuner fans in here :p What makes me believe that she is clean(ish) is that she does have ups and downs, she has good days and bad days, and on really good days noone can touch her. The reason I became a fan (back in 06 or something) was her all out i dont know how to loose attitude. Just firing that gun like it was an automatic and on with it :D
Also its hard to imagine a cute, and seemingly very nice girl being a nasty doper :rolleyes:
Likeable people DO seem less likely to dope. Dopers of the past years often were people I didn't like. I raved LA's performance, until I saw the light, that he really is worse than my swearing vocabulary could describe.
Since they allowed Neuner to take on senior world cups, she's been rocking the ski times. I considered her actually way consistent. Doesn't need long time out of races to "peak", although she does seem to get ill rather often.
the fact that she skips races and then comes back as strog as ever could be interpreted as suspicious, but also as careful.
She might have gotten the overall WC if in Oslo she's just carefully taken part in the pursuit. She felt ill, and didn't race. Very wise for the longuevity of her career, she may have 10+ years to go as dominant skier, while possibly becoming a more and more reliable shot.
Simone Hauswald, retired before this season, seemed to even put in her best skiing at the end of her career, which I'd consider suspect.

Bjoerndalen, being as super-focussed as he is, and skipping parts of seasons to "peak", I must say makes me uneasy a bit. Him being out-sprinted is nothing new, and he's had MANY seasons of hard, hard racing now. A man can keep up top level only for so long. I suppose he wants to ensure his legacy, aim for 100 wins. He might still be a useful starting relay skier in the 2014 Olympics. Hanevold was great for that in 2010 at 40, right?

It has been mentioned in TV commentary before, XC and Biathlon should have a joined race (skating of course) at the end of the season. A race of champions. Let's see Northug, Cologna, Svendsen and Martin Fourcade figure out who's the faster skier.
If one late season XC WC would just reserve a high number of wild cards for biathletes, and make it attractive for them to show up...
 
Cloxxki said:
Since they allowed Neuner to take on senior world cups, she's been rocking the ski times. I considered her actually way consistent. Doesn't need long time out of races to "peak", although she does seem to get ill rather often.
the fact that she skips races and then comes back as strog as ever could be interpreted as suspicious, but also as careful.
I suppose that, once she was ill enough to miss Östersund, she felt distant enough from the WC overall race that taking other races off didn't matter (and was better for her as she wasn't exacerbating illnesses by racing when unfit, meaning she could return to form more quickly), while the likes of Mäkäräinen, Ekholm and Henkel have been fighting all season regarding the WC. Thereby allowing Neuner to be fresher at the WC too (note how the French were upset with Brunet not being competitive at the WC because of fatigue, blaming her being too thin).

She might have gotten the overall WC if in Oslo she's just carefully taken part in the pursuit. She felt ill, and didn't race. Very wise for the longuevity of her career, she may have 10+ years to go as dominant skier, while possibly becoming a more and more reliable shot.
Simone Hauswald, retired before this season, seemed to even put in her best skiing at the end of her career, which I'd consider suspect.

Bjoerndalen, being as super-focussed as he is, and skipping parts of seasons to "peak", I must say makes me uneasy a bit. Him being out-sprinted is nothing new, and he's had MANY seasons of hard, hard racing now. A man can keep up top level only for so long. I suppose he wants to ensure his legacy, aim for 100 wins. He might still be a useful starting relay skier in the 2014 Olympics. Hanevold was great for that in 2010 at 40, right?

It has been mentioned in TV commentary before, XC and Biathlon should have a joined race (skating of course) at the end of the season. A race of champions. Let's see Northug, Cologna, Svendsen and Martin Fourcade figure out who's the faster skier.
If one late season XC WC would just reserve a high number of wild cards for biathletes, and make it attractive for them to show up...
Maybe not even that. Something similar to the Schalke festival they have for the biathletes in Germany would suffice, maybe in a similar format to the motor racing Race of Champions.
 

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