Doping in XC skiing

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Jan 3, 2016
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regarding the sochi games...there is no doubt now (nor a big secret) that the russian successes in part were due to xenon. their coaches and some athletes acknowledged it in private.
Did you actually follow the ski programme at Sochi? What successes do you talk about? The only gold was taken in 50 km. Would Legkov win it if Cologna (2 golds in Sochi BTW) did not break the ski at the last km? May be yes, may be no.

There was no outstanding performance or outstanding gaps demonstrated by russian team in Sochi. Good performance in line with their previous achievements. The final climb fitted Legkov's climbing skill - yes that is true.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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Did you actually follow the ski programme at Sochi? What successes do you talk about? The only gold was taken in 50 km. Would Legkov win it if Cologna (2 golds in Sochi BTW) did not break the ski at the last km? May be yes, may be no.

There was no outstanding performance or outstanding gaps demonstrated by russian team in Sochi. Good performance in line with their previous achievements. The final climb fitted Legkov's climbing skill - yes that is true.
it sounds like if you followed the sochi games, it was skewed by a gold glare. i simply mentioned 'successes', not gaps or outstanding performances. it is rather weird to define a success by gold only. a gold, 3 silvers, a bronze and likely 2 more (or better quality) medals had it not been for a controversy with sundby vs vyleg and the team sprint fork up re. the finns. plus i believe the ustiugov misfortune deprived the russians of a sure medal in individual sprints...as to whether they performed in line with expectations, well, that's a subjective measure of the one expecting..i doubt that vialbe was satisfied.

i dont believe the russians in sochi were more or less doped that anyone else.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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BullsFan22 said:
OMG!!! Mike Dixon just compared Johaug's performance to Paula Radcliffe's London Marathon performance in 2003 in world record tim (2:15) and how memorable that was!!!! LMFAO. I've heard it all now.
You could also compare it to Bjarne's Hautacam record...
 
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python said:
Did you actually follow the ski programme at Sochi? What successes do you talk about? The only gold was taken in 50 km. Would Legkov win it if Cologna (2 golds in Sochi BTW) did not break the ski at the last km? May be yes, may be no.

There was no outstanding performance or outstanding gaps demonstrated by russian team in Sochi. Good performance in line with their previous achievements. The final climb fitted Legkov's climbing skill - yes that is true.
it sounds like if you followed the sochi games, it was skewed by a gold glare. i simply mentioned 'successes', not gaps or outstanding performances. it is rather weird to define a success by gold only. a gold, 3 silvers, a bronze and likely 2 more (or better quality) medals had it not been for a controversy with sundby vs vyleg and the team sprint fork up re. the finns. plus i believe the ustiugov misfortune deprived the russians of a sure medal in individual sprints...as to whether they performed in line with expectations, well, that's a subjective measure of the one expecting..i doubt that vialbe was satisfied.

i dont believe the russians in sochi were more or less doped that anyone else.
Agreed 100%.
 
I am a long time Johaug fan. I have been clear that her overdoing it makes me feel ambivant about her now.

The time gap though, came from the others just not going with her. Surely someone in there could have held on longer, make it harder on Johaug, and finish within a minute. Perhaps Johaug had one of those magical days, but it's not like she's a hard core doper schooling some highschool girls on their first day of skiing. Others were way tired, but they had not skied their own race. I can sort of see being less tired after a good ski by yourself if it was a sort of positive split time trial. The others had a negative split type of race, causing a big time deficit and looking more tired.

Norway in general make a fool of themselves, the sport, and all the fans. It's like other countries just don't care, like sending an amateur club team to the football world cup. But really Norway somehow gets to dope the way others can't. And other's won't complain because they are on whatever they feel they can get away with.
 
Feb 15, 2015
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Cloxxki said:
The time gap though, came from the others just not going with her. Surely someone in there could have held on longer, make it harder on Johaug, and finish within a minute.
If anyone would've followed her they would've blown up like Brink.

She even beat Østberg with a few seconds on the final lap when Østberg was going full gas for second. Johaug lost her technique on that lap and was celebrating towards the end.
 
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kosmonaut said:
Cloxxki said:
The time gap though, came from the others just not going with her. Surely someone in there could have held on longer, make it harder on Johaug, and finish within a minute.
If anyone would've followed her they would've blown up like Brink.

She even beat Østberg with a few seconds on the final lap when Østberg was going full gas for second. Johaug lost her technique on that lap and was celebrating towards the end.
Johaug was only one at the front treating it as a time trial. No doubt Østberg could have done the distance quicker if she'd ignored everyone else. At HER TT pace, all the usual suspects would have followed and some of them get away from them, keeping the gap to Johaug even smaller. Also Østberg may have overdone her acceleration a bit. She took so much time out of the whole field including Johaug on a short stretch of snow, not realistic to expect to do that for another full lap.

Another reason Johaug can do this sort of thing is that she's a rubbish sprinter. She can't overdo the opening lap if she tried. Well, to an extent. I know some cyclists who lack a sprint, their VO2Max and LT all but coincide. I've seen them acceleration from the gun and lap the field. Their pace takes a whole lot of coooperation behind to be matched. And on snow, cooperation makes less of a difference.

Not implying at all than anyone would have stayed within a minute of Johaug on her fast start demonstration race. Her skis worked so well, and she was on probably the best form ever. But nearly 4 minutes was not representative. Johaug is suspect for all the bad reason, but the gap over 30km is not it, IMO.
 
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Jaco0505 said:
Good laugh until it stuck in the throat. Worst piece of journalism ever? I think even Bagdad Bob or Kim Jung Il would have blushed over such a - in your face - nationalistic pamphlet. I'm wondering how long it takes before someone says enough is enough over the kjepphøye and arrogant way the Norse plays around with the dying XC-sport. M Fredriksson might open the lid to the unspeakable. He is economically independent after some good stock market deals and might be willing to sacrifice his position at SVT with some from the heart statements. I guess there is quite a few minds outside the last Soviet state that are on boiling point now.
 
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This journalism in Norway is totaly normal. The Russians are dirty, always. Even when they are 5-6 minuttes behind.

Even the commentators live are shouting how we are beating the forigners all the time. They never look objectivly at things, and ask critical questions, the whole thing is a big circlejerk.

So you can imgine it gets tiering fast. Especially when you have heard it for many years.
 
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markene2 said:
This journalism in Norway is totaly normal. The Russians are dirty, always. Even when they are 5-6 minuttes behind.

Even the commentators live are shouting how we are beating the forigners all the time. They never look objectivly at things, and ask critical questions, the whole thing is a big circlejerk.

So you can imgine it gets tiering fast. Especially when you have heard it for many years.
I've watched WC and Biathlon WC races on NRK before. I watch online and got to watch some on TV when I was i Norway a few years ago. You are absolutely right. You don't usually hear them directly blaming foreigners or certain foreigners of suspicious results, but you hear it in their tone, they get rattled. I obviously don't understand everything, but I've learned enough to understand and know what's going on. When you go on online newspapers and even langrenn.com, they always put the Norwegian results first. So, if Pellegrino wins a race, they won't say "Italiensk seier," first, they'll say "Krogh beste Norsk i Drammen," or something like that. You have to sometimes read halfway down the article to learn who actually won the race. I am not knocking the Norwegian people, but as some have noted here, it's very evident how self-centered the media is there. I get it, this sport is HUGE in Norway, so if there is success, there's celebration and when there is a 'fiasko' they'll riot. Well, maybe not riot, but you'll hardly hear of other great performances. I am sure Brazil and football is similar, as is hockey in Russia, or alpine skiing in Austria, I've seen, heard and read that too. In fact, it is pretty similar, but the Norwegians take it up a notch. I don't know what the overall feeling is on widespread doping in cross country skiing in the past is in Norway, but I am assuming that it's more of the same, "The Russians, Italians, Austrians, Finns, Germans, Swedes all doped, but we won with great skis, talent, better training, better grinds, culture, etc."
 
Staggering...
If you can sell this sort of journalism to the people, you can sell them anything. War actions that did not happen, conflicts and motives that don't exist. Enemies founded by your own security service.
 
Feb 8, 2016
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The journalist who wrote that article has a very bad reputation among Norwegian sports fans. A search for his name on the forum hosted by Norways largest newspaper gives 427 posts related to sports, most of them complaining about anything from bad journalism to asking how the guy can still recieve a paycheck.

That said, the view that Russians are dirty while all Norwegians are clean is very common among Norwegian journalists, and therefore also among a large part of the population. Personally I'm kind of hoping that the recent positive announced by the IBU is a Norwegian high profile name, since that atleast may trigger som critical questions. So far I haven't seen any Norwegian media even mention the IBU positive A-sample.
 
Feb 15, 2015
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aagerpris said:
The journalist who wrote that article has a very bad reputation among Norwegian sports fans. A search for his name on the forum hosted by Norways largest newspaper gives 427 posts related to sports, most of them complaining about anything from bad journalism to asking how the guy can still recieve a paycheck.

That said, the view that Russians are dirty while all Norwegians are clean is very common among Norwegian journalists, and therefore also among a large part of the population. Personally I'm kind of hoping that the recent positive announced by the IBU is a Norwegian high profile name, since that atleast may trigger som critical questions. So far I haven't seen any Norwegian media even mention the IBU positive A-sample.
Can nothing but agree to this. He is disliked by most people with a brain. Also: he is a commentator, so these are his opinions – not a regular story. While I have little good to say about Norwegian sports journalism (with some notable exceptions), this guy does not represent the norm.
 
Apr 7, 2015
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Discgear said:
Good laugh until it stuck in the throat. Worst piece of journalism ever? I think even Bagdad Bob or Kim Jung Il would have blushed over such a - in your face - nationalistic pamphlet. I'm wondering how long it takes before someone says enough is enough over the kjepphøye and arrogant way the Norse plays around with the dying XC-sport. M Fredriksson might open the lid to the unspeakable. He is economically independent after some good stock market deals and might be willing to sacrifice his position at SVT with some from the heart statements. I guess there is quite a few minds outside the last Soviet state that are on boiling point now.
There is no way in hell that Fredriksson will open the lid to anything. Are people forgetting that the Norwegian Miracle of the nineties is the direct successor of, and in most parts based on, the Swedish Miracle of the eighties? For some obscure and unknown reason the swedes stopped doing whatever it was that they where doing and that's when the Norwegians jumped in. It was a passing of the torch and even with some of the same people involved.

Why do you think that the swedes, with their natural inclination to petty jealousy, never truly question the Norwegian dominance? At most they will mumble something about not gloating to much (which we Norwegians, ever the excitable little children, are wont to do) As in everything else, the swedes don't want to rock the boat - they don't want to know. After all, as one Norwegian writer used to say: "Swedes are Germans pretending to be human".
 
Sep 25, 2009
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After all, as one Norwegian writer used to say: "Swedes are Germans pretending to be human".
if the writer indeed said that - any doping context aside - that's just plain stupid.

on a completely different note...surprised no one had started a speculation re. WHO is that biathlete that got suspended by the ibu ?

the news preceded the canmore starts, so i guess at least some fodder for a reasonable speculation is available.

had i followed the sport of biathlon half as thoroughly as xc skiing, i'd already mark someone...
 
Russian who can't get into even the IBU Cup squad, changes nationality mid-20s, and with a year or two is doing better than the Russian World Cup athletes. Even though the substance doesn't seem such an issue and it seems she claims she got it in a prescription in November and was caught out by it being made illegal in January, I wouldn't say it's a particularly big surprise.

Now, will the Ukrainians continue their "zero tolerance to dopers" attitude that was introduced because of Sednev, but apparently didn't apply to Natalya Burdyga, who continues to race for them after serving a two year ban back when she also represented Russia?
 
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python said:
After all, as one Norwegian writer used to say: "Swedes are Germans pretending to be human".
if the writer indeed said that - any doping context aside - that's just plain stupid.

on a completely different note...surprised no one had started a speculation re. WHO is that biathlete that got suspended by the ibu ?

the news preceded the canmore starts, so i guess at least some fodder for a reasonable speculation is available.

had i followed the sport of biathlon half as thoroughly as xc skiing, i'd already mark someone...
I had started, a couple of pages back, counting down all the people who had been at Ruhpolding or Antholz but not at Canmore, since it was said it was at a World Cup the positive came; however because quite a lot of teams either elected not to go to the North American rounds (Bulgaria, for example) and others sent weakened teams (Norway, Ukraine, Belarus) there were still quite a lot of names in the frame by the time Abramova was confirmed.

She would have been one that I would have had fairly high on my suspicion list for the reasons in my previous post, but there were still quite a few potential names in the frame.
 
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Lyon said:
Discgear said:
Good laugh until it stuck in the throat. Worst piece of journalism ever? I think even Bagdad Bob or Kim Jung Il would have blushed over such a - in your face - nationalistic pamphlet. I'm wondering how long it takes before someone says enough is enough over the kjepphøye and arrogant way the Norse plays around with the dying XC-sport. M Fredriksson might open the lid to the unspeakable. He is economically independent after some good stock market deals and might be willing to sacrifice his position at SVT with some from the heart statements. I guess there is quite a few minds outside the last Soviet state that are on boiling point now.
There is no way in hell that Fredriksson will open the lid to anything. Are people forgetting that the Norwegian Miracle of the nineties is the direct successor of, and in most parts based on, the Swedish Miracle of the eighties? For some obscure and unknown reason the swedes stopped doing whatever it was that they where doing and that's when the Norwegians jumped in. It was a passing of the torch and even with some of the same people involved.

Why do you think that the swedes, with their natural inclination to petty jealousy, never truly question the Norwegian dominance? At most they will mumble something about not gloating to much (which we Norwegians, ever the excitable little children, are wont to do) As in everything else, the swedes don't want to rock the boat - they don't want to know. After all, as one Norwegian writer used to say: "Swedes are Germans pretending to be human".
No way in hell? You might be right. My best guess was that Fredriksson who has showed clear annoyance with MJS claims and also has a history of outspokenness, might say something about the joke this year has been. As I said, he is also in a private position that allows him to be frank.

So, your opinion is that the Swedes used EPO in the 80s and somehow lost the recipe in the 90s. For real? Have you read the thread?

You do clearly have a genuine dislike of Swedes and somehow look on them as inferior. Fine with me. But I do know one thing, that’s a very un-Swedish way to talk about other human beings.

There must be a way to raise questions about the dominance some Norwegians has shown in an extreme aerobic sport like XC-skiing without going ad hominem.
 
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Jaco0505 said:
I did a re-read of the now infamous article by Esten O. SÆTHER (EOS). It’s actually not difficult to read it as a hidden questioning about what’s really going on today and maybe before. I guess in Norwegian media (and Swedish) it would be totally impossible to openly question if doping might be a part of the extreme dominance by the likes of TJ and MJS. The only way to do that would be through a – on the surface – tribute article, but lifting up otherwise untouchable subjects. Let’s give it a try:

EOS starts with pointing to a new scientific study in a Dutch University where they will explore the gains of EPO-doping in cycling. Then he speculates how big a gain you can achieve and links to an article in The Science of Sport where he point out the number 5% gain. From the article:

So can you win clean? As much as I’d like to think so, when you have this situation where a guy finishing in the top 10 is using drugs and being beaten by minutes on a mountain climb, I find it difficult to believe that physiologically, the margins can be that large. I believe that the NATURAL, physiological difference between riders is tiny – maybe 1% separates a champion from tenth place. So take a drug that improves performance by, let’s be conservative and say 5%, and that mid-packer still can’t win the race, then you have to wonder about the guy who is winning…?

In the next sentence EOS points out that 5% lead was actually the exact margin that TJ had on the first hour of the 30K, and there has never been a bigger victory margin in modern XC-skiing.

Then EOS goes on with a rampage about the Russian ladies and talks about differences in training and says that the best Russian lady was 7 minutes 34 seconds behind TJ, despite being from a huge country were XC-skiing is the national sport, where the numbers of skis sold are bigger than anywhere else, where the national federation has bigger budget than anyone and where they train harder and more frequently than anyone. Note that he talks about Russia and not Norway. Usually this kind of arguments - especially in Norway - are used to explain Norwegian dominance.

EOS says that the extreme training regime the Russians used in the 90s – when they were doped – won’t work today since without doping they can’t recover. Kind of makes you think of MJS claims and the wild protests from Fredriksson.

He also points out the dominance of the Russians in the championships 1997 in Trondheim and in the WC that year with 5 Russian ladies in the top 10. However don’t forget that in the same championship: out of 36 medals in XC-skiing and Nordic combined Russia took 10 and Norway 11. Also, Bente Skari was 2nd in the overall world cup 1997 and 1st 1998 and 1999.

EOS then concludes that the 5 best Russian ladies ended up 52 minutes behind TJ in thw last weekends 30K and that is a difference that shouldn’t be possible between the two top nations in a sport.

I don’t know, but either EOS is completely stupid or he managed to – in a quite clever way – to raise questions that wouldn’t have been possibly to raise in a direct way. In one article he manages to question the Norwegian dominance in the 90s, the extreme victory margins by TJ, the extreme training claims by MJS and finally the arguments about Norwegian dominance due to economic doping and big number of skiers. Quite an achievement.
 
Feb 15, 2015
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Discgear said:
I don’t know, but either EOS is completely stupid or he managed to – in a quite clever way – to raise questions that wouldn’t have been possibly to raise in a direct way.
It's the first one.

Other great comments from him:

Praising Katusha for bringing in Stein Ørn to save them from having to dope to cope. Now the whole team can succeed with his magic training formula like Kristoff. (http://www.dagbladet.no/2015/10/16/sport/sykkel/stein_orn/alexander_kristoff/41535178/) Not going well so far, though.

Praising Edvald for "giving away his silver" to help Kristoff in Richmond because he will benefit from it in the long run. (http://www.dagbladet.no/2015/09/28/sport/sykling/sykkel-vm2015/alexander_kristoff/edvald_boasson_hagen/41260056/)

Sundby is the greatest of Norwegian sports. (http://www.dagbladet.no/2015/01/11/sport/langrenn/tour_de_ski_2015/martin_johnsrud_sundby/37120440/)
 

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