Doping in XC skiing

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TomasC said:
I'm a little slow here, who are you thinking about, OEB?
Just my thought.
But seeing IBU's and WADA's ethical reputation dwindling in the world press, we may not ever hear of it. Another athlete will be appointed to take the fall if need be.
OEB's exposure would be a great catalyst toward a cleaner sport.

In a sport where a whole field does the same races in such a predictable manner, all athletes should be tested at the same day with short intervals before worlds or something. If they mess with their body, it must show up.
Testing must be about getting positives, not getting negatives.
 
TomasC said:
I'm a little slow here, who are you thinking about, OEB?
The most likely candidate to my mind is still Alexis Bœuf given his sudden retirement and his even more sudden and chronic loss of form before the Olympics last year. However, while there is still plenty of chance for an IBU Cup name, if it is somebody who has DNSed a race out of nowhere at Hochfilzen or Östersund, most of them are either young or inexperienced athletes in planned absences (eg Braisaz) or can't be suspended as of 15/12 as they raced at either Pokljuka or Obertilliach since (eg Eckhoff, Rastorgujevs). Of athletes whose absences were seemingly not planned and who did not race at Pokljuka or Obertilliach, Bjørndalen is by FAR the biggest name. The wink emoticon in the post I was referring to seemed to suggest this was the conclusion we were supposed to draw.
 
Thanks, I was thinking python meant he was actually really just too lazy to look up the dns's.
I agree with the Bœuf option, OEB seems unprobable to me for several reasons.

On an unrelated note, do you copy&paste the names with the language-specific characters from elsewhere or do you actually have all the world keyboards installed and type them? If there's one person who does this it's you :)
 
Sep 25, 2009
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you're correct, tomasC. - i simply had other things to do on a chrismmas day besides being a rather casual fan of biathlon. that said, i was aware that obe had missed the slovakia events for 'altitude training'

iirc, he's done it in other years as well. perhaps that's why there is virtually no whisper or the usually quick on speculation internet community. there is another couple reasons obe is not likely.

1stly, as the biggest jewel in the sport, obe would be protected to the utmost power of the old ibu regime. absolutely no doubt in my mind ! (think of the mcquaid/hiny resistance to bringing down armstrong)

2ndly, i am 90% sure that 5 'hot' samples were re-tested in the wada cologne lab (ibu NEVER confirmed it). what does it mean ? 2 things... one, that the suspicion was lingering for a while and that the ibu just could not pin the suspect. meaning, at least several in the ibu and the cologne lab knew (or could figure out) the identity. two, the cologne lab is tightly linked with the moscow wada lab...in fact, almost a quarter of the moscow lab are german contractors.

iow, in the environment of constant doping scandals, had the russians smelled ANYTHING about obe,and as i said they have good sources both within the ibu and the cologne lab, it would be 'out there' already.

just my thoughts...
 
TomasC said:
Thanks, I was thinking python meant he was actually really just too lazy to look up the dns's.
I agree with the Bœuf option, OEB seems unprobable to me for several reasons.

On an unrelated note, do you copy&paste the names with the language-specific characters from elsewhere or do you actually have all the world keyboards installed and type them? If there's one person who does this it's you :)
I use a Macbook and toggle between the different language layouts. I have layouts for Cyrillic, Greek, Hebrew and Arabic alphabets installed, and tend to use the Romanian keyboard layout as it has what I find to be the most convenient way of inserting the widest range of diacritics.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Libertine Seguros said:
It was more that you said Landertinger was suspicious for his form (which had not improved as he had been top 10 of every race since Christmas) and did not mention Soukup at all until prompted by others. Roundabout called you out on it, because you were celebrating what a great guy he was and how great it was that he got a medal at the same time as attacking Landertinger's sudden gain in form (as we now seem to be agreed on, Landertinger is suspicious as all hell, but there was no sudden gain in form at the Olympics, so I agree with your suspicion but disagree with your reasoning). Similarly, when I did my list of each country and why there are factors that make them suspicious, and mitigating factors, you took pains to refute all of the factors of suspicion regarding the Czechs (except Soukup's Maksimov-like rise). Perhaps part of that is simply access to the backstory, and maybe I'm seeing something that isn't there because we got off on the wrong foot on that front because of my questioning Soukalová back in 2012 at the same time as Moravec made Fourcade look like a fool in Pokljuka (which later proved to be my mistake as it was Fourcade doing uncharacteristically badly, not Moravec doing uncharacteristically well).
Landertinger's form improved a lot after the Christmas, I don't think I meaned he suddenly raised his form for Sochi. I've said that he's in form in time. Roundabout reacted the strange way he reacted and I would probably do better if I didn't react on him back than because he even didn't want a discussion, like this: "Badly injured, but not badly enough to not be in form for the most important event in years despite showing very little before. Keep on twisting. Funny how 2 of his 3 podiums have come at the Worlds and Olympics." You know I don't like this style of discussion, I don't like caliing funny something what in fact isn't funny for the one who says that.
You know, what exactly is strange that athlete is trying to prepare his best form for the most important event? Especially one haunted by bad luck who has no chance to succeed in the ? According to roundabout it's not normal but I've to disagree with that. Anyway roundabout choosed to ignore other side of this is, that Soukup managed pretty mess up his form for event of the year quite a few times (what is usually Worlds or Olympics), i.e. olympics 2010 where he looked to be in good form before but Olympics were disastrous. The same goes for some Worlds. When one note that two of his three podium results came in the event of the year one should also note that nine of his eleven top tens did not came at the event of the year.
I knew that Soukup has history of good results here and there when everything goes well and in the same event he can pretty mess up the rest of races which was case of Sochi as well. He shined in sprint and that was all, which is his usuall pattern and I thought that rise of his form wasn't all that sudden because he was decent in Ruhpolding. So at first it didn't struck me that Sochi third was suspicious - but it was.

I've commented on Czechs because they are only one I know about what's understandable I suppose. You can call it taking pains...if you will.

You are talking about athletes that I jumped on like there were hosts of them when there are not. On the other hand you don't remember that i.e. I've defended Bescond (who is not Czech). It looks like you are biased towards me little bit really.
 
Kokoso said:
Landertinger's form improved a lot after the Christmas, I don't think I meaned he suddenly raised his form for Sochi. I've said that he's in form in time. Roundabout reacted the strange way he reacted and I would probably do better if I didn't react on him back than because he even didn't want a discussion, like this: "Badly injured, but not badly enough to not be in form for the most important event in years despite showing very little before. Keep on twisting. Funny how 2 of his 3 podiums have come at the Worlds and Olympics." You know I don't like this style of discussion, I don't like caliing funny something what in fact isn't funny for the one who says that.
You know, what exactly is strange that athlete is trying to prepare his best form for the most important event? Especially one haunted by bad luck who has no chance to succeed in the ? According to roundabout it's not normal but I've to disagree with that. Anyway roundabout choosed to ignore other side of this is, that Soukup managed pretty mess up his form for event of the year quite a few times (what is usually Worlds or Olympics), i.e. olympics 2010 where he looked to be in good form before but Olympics were disastrous. The same goes for some Worlds. When one note that two of his three podium results came in the event of the year one should also note that nine of his eleven top tens did not came at the event of the year.
I knew that Soukup has history of good results here and there when everything goes well and in the same event he can pretty mess up the rest of races which was case of Sochi as well. He shined in sprint and that was all, which is his usuall pattern and I thought that rise of his form wasn't all that sudden because he was decent in Ruhpolding. So at first it didn't struck me that Sochi third was suspicious - but it was.
At the same time, there are LOTS of people who are planning their form around that specific event, and still a lot of the time the strongest athletes at the Worlds or Olympics are athletes who are consistent athletes the rest of the season (Domracheva, Fourcade, Berger etc.), and other podium results come from people who are not far above their season norm (Landertinger, Eckhoff - not many podiums between them, but 4th and 7th in the overall World Cup last season); Soukup has been injured plenty, I acknowledge, but as you have later been forced to admit, his ability to time it perfectly bears a few hallmarks of Andriy Deryzemlya ("I know him, and he normally comes 40th, not 3rd" - Björn Ferry): an athlete capable of the occasional good result, but the timing of said good results becomes suspicious. A bit like Maxim Maksimov, who became rather notorious for barely making the Russian squad for much of the season then popping up out of nowhere at the World Championships. He was far from the only one - Leguellec, Oberhofer, Elisa Gasparin, Hojnisz and Sachenbacher-Stehle were all far above their season norms at the Olympics - and he wasn't as much of a sore thumb as Elena Khrustaleva in 2010, but it was your silence on the subject while calling out somebody who had been very consistent that drew the reaction.

I've commented on Czechs because they are only one I know about what's understandable I suppose. You can call it taking pains...if you will.

You are talking about athletes that I jumped on like there were hosts of them when there are not. On the other hand you don't remember that i.e. I've defended Bescond (who is not Czech). It looks like you are biased towards me little bit really.
I did allow in my previous post for the fact that you having greater knowledge of the backstory with the Czechs than I do (given that I can't speak more than a few words of the language) and the access to the Czech media gives you disproportionately more info about them than about, say, developing Norwegian or Russian athletes. And where you've seen nothing suspicious in a Czech athlete where others have, it has been clocked, because to somebody without access to her backstory, Soukalová is one of the most suspicious athletes in recent years, suddenly emerging fully-fledged on the top 10 of the World Cup without having been a medal candidate as a junior.

Maybe it's a false pattern, but most of the time when suspicions of the rise of the Czechs in the sport have been raised, you have been explaining why it isn't suspicious. Even when you've accepted the suspicion (like with Soukup) it has been with a caveat. I'm sorry if I have you wrong, but it's looked a lot like patriotism from the outside.
 
Libertine Seguros said:
I use a Macbook and toggle between the different language layouts. I have layouts for Cyrillic, Greek, Hebrew and Arabic alphabets installed, and tend to use the Romanian keyboard layout as it has what I find to be the most convenient way of inserting the widest range of diacritics.
Ugh, I can't imagine doing that without someting like "keyboard maps" for different layouts next to the keyboard and even then I'd hate writing posts with Bœuf, Bjørndalen and Puskarčíková in them at the same time.
Well I guess practice helps...or you must be doping!
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Libertine Seguros said:
At the same time, there are LOTS of people who are planning their form around that specific event, and still a lot of the time the strongest athletes at the Worlds or Olympics are athletes who are consistent athletes the rest of the season (Domracheva, Fourcade, Berger etc.), and other podium results come from people who are not far above their season norm (Landertinger, Eckhoff - not many podiums between them, but 4th and 7th in the overall World Cup last season); Soukup has been injured plenty, I acknowledge, but as you have later been forced to admit, his ability to time it perfectly bears a few hallmarks of Andriy Deryzemlya ("I know him, and he normally comes 40th, not 3rd" - Björn Ferry): an athlete capable of the occasional good result, but the timing of said good results becomes suspicious. A bit like Maxim Maksimov, who became rather notorious for barely making the Russian squad for much of the season then popping up out of nowhere at the World Championships. He was far from the only one - Leguellec, Oberhofer, Elisa Gasparin, Hojnisz and Sachenbacher-Stehle were all far above their season norms at the Olympics - and he wasn't as much of a sore thumb as Elena Khrustaleva in 2010, but it was your silence on the subject while calling out somebody who had been very consistent that drew the reaction.


I did allow in my previous post for the fact that you having greater knowledge of the backstory with the Czechs than I do (given that I can't speak more than a few words of the language) and the access to the Czech media gives you disproportionately more info about them than about, say, developing Norwegian or Russian athletes. And where you've seen nothing suspicious in a Czech athlete where others have, it has been clocked, because to somebody without access to her backstory, Soukalová is one of the most suspicious athletes in recent years, suddenly emerging fully-fledged on the top 10 of the World Cup without having been a medal candidate as a junior.

Maybe it's a false pattern, but most of the time when suspicions of the rise of the Czechs in the sport have been raised, you have been explaining why it isn't suspicious. Even when you've accepted the suspicion (like with Soukup) it has been with a caveat. I'm sorry if I have you wrong, but it's looked a lot like patriotism from the outside.
I've also acknowledged that Soukup has ability to mess up the timing completely asi I've mentioned. More times he messed up than timed it perfectly, that's what I was trying to say. I just said how it is with him so I don't think it's caveat.
Soukalova should do something in biathlon to rectify her reputation now. Probably if I knew more about athletes from other nations I'd tend to begin dislike some of them as I began to dislike Soukalova recently for her rhetoric. My point of view is that she's no star still - but she's definitely best Czech biathlonist of all times. I think she has really great talent and if not for some unfortunate statements she has it all why to like her, she's apparently intelligent, she's training hard, she had some tough start of career because she went her own way. Maybe she could use less makeup. I've to say I dislike Svendsen. Last time he convinced me again to dislike him was the video where he says he'd like to be lawyer if not doing biathlon. On the other hand I like Martin Fourcade. Last time he convinced me I should carry on with that was press conference after mass start where Beatrix took him down before finish. Fourcade took it really sportingly.

Because we are in doping section I'd like to mention some performance which I consider very, very suspicious was Pavol Hurajt's Vancouver. Here were some unusual conditions and others messed that races but still it looks to me that he performed far above his usual level. That was unbelievable.
 
May 18, 2010
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With the start of the Tour de Ski underway, I'd like to buff this thread. What are your observations so far, in terms of blitzing just-in-time recovery of form?
 
Shardi said:
With the start of the Tour de Ski underway, I'd like to buff this thread. What are your observations so far, in terms of blitzing just-in-time recovery of form?
Nothing new. Bjoergen demolishes the field, again. There was a bigger gap between first and second then there was from 7-28. I know the women's field isn't very strong, but Bjoergen, at the age of 34, not looking tired at all, just crushed the field. Kowalczyk seems to have gained some form back. Of course, she skis the downhills about as good as an 8 year old. She would have been on the podium easily today.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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Shardi said:
... What are your observations so far, in terms of blitzing just-in-time recovery of form?
please explain how did you arrive at that statement following a single 10 minute race ?

who specifically blitzed just in time ?
 
May 18, 2010
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python said:
please explain how did you arrive at that statement following a single 10 minute race ?

who specifically blitzed just in time ?
What I meant was, any surprising performance jumps, compared to the races just before the christmas holidays.
 
Mar 4, 2013
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meat puppet said:
nah, man, marit had a bad day actually, being just 6sec / km faster than the first loser. totally cleans of course.
Make that 3 seconds. Or 2,86 if you're pedantic.
Fastest racer (MB): 29:27:6
Second fastest racer (TJ): 29:56:2
 
I hate to keep beating on this issue, but will FIS and WADA ever have the courage to look into Bjoergen?? I mean it's so obvious, it's actually hilarious and sad at the same time. Do they really think people believe what they are seeing? A skier dominating races at every venue, every altitude, every format, every season for YEARS now?? It's omertà and protecting the 'star players' all over again.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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i am not here to defend marit. in fact, i find her domination as questionable, if not suspicious, as anyone. but to say she always dominated, at any race is inaccurate. moreover, her 'human' performances imo add rather than subtract questions...

...i often replay old races. usually just for fun. but often also to refill my memory banks or to answer my own various questions.

so, i recently got to re- watch the supporo worlds in 2007, and the one after - in leberec (2009).

believe it or not, bjoergen, especially in the longer events, performed as a human, or as someone expected with her physique...not to downplay her strength those years, iirc, she was the wc leader.

here's what jumped at me. while i generally look down at over-interpreting pictures, marit looked every bit as muscularly huge as today. the same thick neck, same dense upper and lower legs and torso. and her arms looked even bigger. i replayed the closeups several times to convince myself...

how did she do ? to be sure, she collected several medals in 2007 and 2009. but when she raced the long events, particularly in supporo duathlon and the 30k, she was dropped like a rock by the leading girls, including her bony team mates steira and then a youngster johaug...like a rock ! you can see her gasping for air, you can clearly see her technique deteriorating from fatigue, you can see her splits sliding and sliding...

btw, she largely competed even back then against many of the same girls she is now REGULARLY destroying - kalla, justyna, jacobsen, steira, kaisa saarinen etc

why was she 'human' then ?

one possible answer could be that she could have been un-doped or less doped than the competition. those who did beat her included a crop that later either was proven doping, failed a hg test or fall under the suspicion by association - smigun, zavialova, evi sachenbacher....another reason, like armstrong in the early 90s, she might have been on too many steroids that only later got properly integrated into a 'harmonious' programme..

regardless, i do not believe she is destroying a 'clean' field today. her occasional slips may point to a 'learning curve'. i also do not exclude a natural hormone issue which makes her 'like no other girls' ...
 
For a moment I though I was watching the '99 TdF, but it was the '15 TdS with Bjoergen.
Like the rest of the field went clean after 2014 and Bjoergen missed the memo.

Kowalzyk skiing worse than ever technically makes her about as suspect as Bjoergen, but then, she was never not suspect before.

On one level, the superiority of the Norwegian women is ridiculous. And within Norway, Bjoergen is laughable. Not just her performances, but considering they come from an ultra muscular lady. Lance is merely her skinny sidekick really.

In biathlon, the best Norwegian skiers, who can win XC races just as well as their XC fellow countrymen, have good competition from other countries. Their women are rarely on top ski form, and would be useless in XC. Why are the biathlon women so slow in Norway? Not a biathlon country anymore? But if it's true they have such a vast base of WC-worthy skiers, why doesn't a part of them go biathlon and wreck the field Bjoerndalen style?
Is there something "special" about the training environment (coaches, soigneurs) for the XC women that the rest of the country doesn't get?

That all said, I wonder why Czech biathletes are so quick and we're losing them in XC faster than Bauer loses hair.

And what's with the Russian XC men? Post Olympic year?
 

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