Doping in XC skiing

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Apr 22, 2012
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Discgear said:
Finally, Johnsrud Sundby claims that after he talked with Randall before christmas he persuaded several team mates to sign the petition. But he doesn't have time himself to sign during the season of competitions. :D

The Armstrong Fan boy has spoken.
Yes, this was really funny part. You know, even if he was illiterate and slightly mentally ***, he wouldn't need more than few days to sign anything. :)
 
Jan 3, 2016
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BullsFan22 said:
Blaaswix said:
Kikkan Randall, athletes represantative to FIS, started a petition (see this article https://www.nrk.no/sport/derfor-har-ikke-sundby-skrevet-under-dopingoppropet-1.13332647 ) which has been signed by, so far, about a hundred XC skiers, among them ten Norwegians. Not every Norwegian skier has has yet signed though, the name in the link above probably gives it away ;) saying they will look at it again in the spring.

The four points in the petition are:
- A stronger and more independent WADA
-Stronger leadership from FIS, IOC and WADA in the fight for doping free sport
-Quicker and stricter punishments for those that don't follow the WADA code
- to not deliberately breach the WADA code
To dissect the four points.

1. Not sure if WADA was ever 'independent.' Just like many international organizations like it, WADA functions as those that sponsor it most do. In this case, it's the US and Canadian authorities. Notice how nothing was done when the TUE leaks came. In fact, people like Travis Tygart, Olivier Niggli and Craig Reedie were all up in arms over it.

2. FIS has a lot of Norwegian representation in it. Nothing will be done. Just like the 'independent investigation' on the use of Asthma meds: made up solely of Scandinavians. IOC is like WADA, those Olympic federations that have the most money and lobbyists will have their way.

3. Quicker and stricter punishments that break the WADA code? Like Sundby? FIS waited 18 months to give Sundby a two month Summer 'ban.' Or Johaug? Clearly took steroids for 11 straight days, was caught, and no decision yet after what...four months?

4. Breaching the WADA code? What does that mean? Does it mean that those that don't have asthma but are taking asthma medication(s) to improve their performances should walk free or be suspended accordingly? I haven't heard much complaining from Randall on this issue. Does anyone still have the link to the VG interview of Norwegian skiers about asthma med use? And what about the wax trailer and the 'special room' that they have to use the nebulizers before, during and after races? Pettersen talked about this in detail. Where was Kikkan Randall when that broke out? Or the fact that the juniors were using the same methods last year at World Juniors and U23's in Romania.
Well you've got to start somewhere. At least the petition is a move in the right direction. The asthma medicine remains the elephant in the room, however, and will do until it's removed from the green list, I think.
 
Re: Re:

Blaaswix said:
BullsFan22 said:
Blaaswix said:
Kikkan Randall, athletes represantative to FIS, started a petition (see this article https://www.nrk.no/sport/derfor-har-ikke-sundby-skrevet-under-dopingoppropet-1.13332647 ) which has been signed by, so far, about a hundred XC skiers, among them ten Norwegians. Not every Norwegian skier has has yet signed though, the name in the link above probably gives it away ;) saying they will look at it again in the spring.

The four points in the petition are:
- A stronger and more independent WADA
-Stronger leadership from FIS, IOC and WADA in the fight for doping free sport
-Quicker and stricter punishments for those that don't follow the WADA code
- to not deliberately breach the WADA code
To dissect the four points.

1. Not sure if WADA was ever 'independent.' Just like many international organizations like it, WADA functions as those that sponsor it most do. In this case, it's the US and Canadian authorities. Notice how nothing was done when the TUE leaks came. In fact, people like Travis Tygart, Olivier Niggli and Craig Reedie were all up in arms over it.

2. FIS has a lot of Norwegian representation in it. Nothing will be done. Just like the 'independent investigation' on the use of Asthma meds: made up solely of Scandinavians. IOC is like WADA, those Olympic federations that have the most money and lobbyists will have their way.

3. Quicker and stricter punishments that break the WADA code? Like Sundby? FIS waited 18 months to give Sundby a two month Summer 'ban.' Or Johaug? Clearly took steroids for 11 straight days, was caught, and no decision yet after what...four months?

4. Breaching the WADA code? What does that mean? Does it mean that those that don't have asthma but are taking asthma medication(s) to improve their performances should walk free or be suspended accordingly? I haven't heard much complaining from Randall on this issue. Does anyone still have the link to the VG interview of Norwegian skiers about asthma med use? And what about the wax trailer and the 'special room' that they have to use the nebulizers before, during and after races? Pettersen talked about this in detail. Where was Kikkan Randall when that broke out? Or the fact that the juniors were using the same methods last year at World Juniors and U23's in Romania.
Well you've got to start somewhere. At least the petition is a move in the right direction. The asthma medicine remains the elephant in the room, however, and will do until it's removed from the green list, I think.

You are right, it has to start somewhere. Using asthma meds on athletes that don't have asthma is doping, plain and simple. A lot of Norwegian national team members take it and the coaching staff says they'll keep taking it. My point was, how can all these skiers sign the petition knowing they are taking stuff like this? I mentioned Manificat in an earlier post. He criticized Sundby and the asthma use, yet it was later reported that he, too, takes asthma meds and he doesn't even have asthma. Apparently Legkov has asthma and has had TUE's for this. Of course, he has his own, specific problems to worry about, but this rather significant number of skiers taking this is so ridiculous it's beyond the 'grey' area. I am sorry to anyone that will disagree, but that's the truth.

Kikkan's concern isn't with this, it's the fact that she wants to see the Russians banned and inflicting harsh punishments on the Russians if not a ban of sorts. Same thing with Beckie Scott. When the news of high blood values of the 90's and early 2000's came out four years ago, she said nothing. When Sundby was busted. She said nothing. When Johaug was busted. She said nothing. When nebulizer use was made public. She said nothing. When allegations of Russian doping came out. She was front and center to lecture everyone on the importance of 'fair play' and 'competing clean.' Sorry. Not convinced. Especially not by someone that went from a nobody in terms of World Cup racing, placing consistently outside the points...40's, 50's and 60's, minutes behind the leaders, to contending for medals in less than an Olympic cycle, beating all those she accused of doping.

XC needs somebody like a Bassons to come out and say something. Not somebody from the 'establishment.'
 
Jan 3, 2016
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Bullsfan, I can't disagree. There is so much scepticism about XC now, not least in Norway. We don't know who has signed the petition either, AFAIK.
 
Blaaswix said:
Bullsfan, I can't disagree. There is so much scepticism about XC now, not least in Norway. We don't know who has signed the petition either, AFAIK.

At least it's a start, as you said, but until all eyes are on all the doping infringements and suspicious activity, I can't be convinced.

Randall was in the news in the past few days in regards to ending her time as FIS athlete representative. Apparently Paal Golberg was mentioned as a replacement.

When news first came out on the petition, they had some names, apparently a number of the Russian women signed it, but no Russian men.

I'd love to see all the names that signed it.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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i dont believe in petitions in general as a constructive tool to advance a solution to any problem. and i am highly suspicious of THIS petition in particular as having anything to do with the genuine anti-doping.

why ? to me it is simple and i think bullsfan pretty much cracked it. note the timing and the background of the petition - the followup to the mc laren report which looked at the doping by only one nation. the 'athlete representative' petition is a barely disguised political attempt at separating 'us (clean) from them (dirty)' as if it's difficult to figure which nations athletes are currently harassed and prosecuted :rolleyes: besides, an implication that the the signatories don't or won't dope and those refusing to sign betray the antidoping ideals is rather ridiculous, if not all together stupid. sundby in my book is a real doper (i had written dozens of posts as to WHY), but i would not lower myself to criticize him for refusing to sign a politically driven, feel-good initiative of those who may be seeking to cover up their own doping by an easy signature. it only means he's a smart doper.

we know very well from the long history of doping in professional cycling the signatories sure can and they do dope and they will sign anything to keep the myth up. didn't tyler hamilton sign one of those and then wrote in his book that the lie helped him and the team to keep the cover ?

had the petition been initiated in the aftermath of the asthma-gate or better yet, in the aftermath of NO doping scandals, then at least it would have the impression and the spirit of being a genuine concern of those who care for a fair competition.

it's apolitical petition with much fewer genuine concerns than it wants us to believe. my opinion that i suspect some may not share.
 
Re:

python said:
i dont believe in petitions in general as a constructive tool to advance a solution to any problem. and i am highly suspicious of THIS petition in particular as having anything to do with the genuine anti-doping.

why ? to me it is simple and i think bullsfan pretty much cracked it. note the timing and the background of the petition - the followup to the mc laren report which looked at the doping by only one nation. the 'athlete representative' petition is a barely disguised political attempt at separating 'us (clean) from them (dirty)' as if it's difficult to figure which nations athletes are currently harassed and prosecuted :rolleyes: besides, an implication that the the signatories don't or won't dope and those refusing to sign betray the antidoping ideals is rather ridiculous, if not all together stupid. sundby in my book is a real doper (i had written dozens of posts as to WHY), but i would not lower myself to criticize him for refusing to sign a politically driven, feel-good initiative of those who may be seeking to cover up their own doping by an easy signature. it only means he's a smart doper.

we know very well from the long history of doping in professional cycling the signatories sure can and they do dope and they will sign anything to keep the myth up. didn't tyler hamilton sign one of those and then wrote in his book that the lie helped him and the team to keep the cover ?

had the petition been initiated in the aftermath of the asthma-gate or better yet, in the aftermath of NO doping scandals, then at least it would have the impression and the spirit of being a genuine concern of those who care for a fair competition.

it's apolitical petition with much fewer genuine concerns than it wants us to believe. my opinion that i suspect some may not share.

Yep. If you look at what the IBU said today after their meeting. They will retest all Russian samples from Sochi. Only Russian? I am pretty sure other nations competed in Sochi as well. Why not test ALL the samples from Sochi? And if the samples were manipulated, how will they be able to get a different result? Do they have the 'dirty' samples in their possession?

It is a political petition and you can be sure that if Legkov, Belov, Vylegzhanin, Petukhov, Shapovalova and Ivanova are cleared and allowed to compete at World's, there will be much more noise.

I think Sundby for one, doesn't want to sign because he's already been busted and he probably will feel like a hypocrite if he does and two, he's already said that he believes in Legkov 100%. Ole Einar Bjoerndalen said that until a positive is confirmed, the athletes are 100% innocent. Granted, I never trusted Bjoerndalen, but he seems like a good natured, consistent individual and he respects his opponents and wants due process. The Americans, unfortunately, don't want due process. It was evident in the various interviews given by the likes of Tim Burke, Lowell Bailey, a number of xc athletes and their coach that it was 'shoot first, ask questions later.' This gung-ho mentality is really just knee jerk reactions and Americans unable to do research by themselves, only relying on NYT and third-person sources. When the news of Johaug's positive came, some of the American women were defending her and saying she 'is a nice girl and she would never dope.' And 'it's not like she was taking EPO like the Russians....' And the coach said 'It's a shame that this is distracting from the systematic doping in Russia...' Perhaps not the exact words, but pretty close. It's this sort of mentality that I think has spilled over from politics and the every day, non stop antagonizing of everything Russia in the US media.

I don't understand why differentiations need to be made in terms of doping. Whether you are using nebulizers or needles or banned vitamins or whatever, to gain an advantage, it's doping. Why differentiate the intent to cheat, simply because it's one country and not the other? And the hypocrisy is mind blowing. They cry about doping, but a lot of them watch American football and baseball, two of the most egregious sports when talking about doping. It's totally BS. And what's most disappointing to me is that I personally know a number of the members of the US Ski Team. I am not going to lay suspicion on them, but it's just kind of disappointing to see them jump on this political bandwagon.

p.s., what's the deal with FIS delaying the verdict on the temporarily suspended Russians? They said it was supposed to come early this past week, so the week of January 16th. It's now Saturday the 21st. Where's the report? Legkov and Belov had their hearings first, and their German lawyer said it went well. Vylegzhanin and Petukhov will have a hearing on the 24th, so Tuesday. Shapovalova and Ivanova sent or will send written statements. I am starting to smell more bias with these delays. Either that or FIS is actually being very transparent and fair and wants to make sure that the athletes defending themselves have enough time to prepare.
 
Also talking about Russia and political moves, the IBU's anti-doping meeting was yesterday and obviously the subject of Russia came up. Anders Besseberg announced that there are 7 of the Russians named under the McLaren Report into whom investigations are ongoing (none of whom are provisionally suspended). 2 (Romanova and Vilukhina) are suspended, 22 have been cleared due to the offences either having already been punished (athletes for whom suspensions for the same offence as found have already been served covering the time frame, which would include Starykh and Loginov) or for lack of evidence against the athletes, and 7 remain under ongoing investigation. In the meantime competition will continue as normal. I'd consider - and this is purely speculative on my part, but going on the information in the report - that it is likely, looking at the details of the Russians within the report, that the 7 are Aleksandr Chernyshov, Nadezhda Dubova, Ekaterina Glazyrina, Timofey Lapshin, Anna Nikulina, Veronika Sboeva and then either Ekaterina Shumilova or Olga Zaitseva, as these appear to have been those whose samples included substances or where the McLaren report indicated likely tampering with samples, whereas I would expect those whose only samples have not indicated any wrongdoing on the part of the athlete or where samples have gone awol have been cleared, as many were included for relatively minor reasons or they had no evidence that the athlete was involved in what then happened to the sample. Obviously there you have three people from the Russian national calendar and five from the extended national team, four at the main level and one who's never really got past the IBU Cup level. Besseberg also made it abundantly clear that Aleksandr Loginov has served his suspension and so has just as much right to be at current competitions as anybody else, as his return - and the form he's shown in winning IBU Cup race after IBU Cup race - has been a big talking point recently, with Ricco Gross trying to keep him from the World Cup team to limit the bad PR at this moment in time considering all that's going on with the Russians. However, Besseberg refused to be drawn on what would happen going forward, the 2021 World Championships in Tyumen will be discussed at the next IBU Congress, and the situation will be revisited at the next meeting on February 11.

Of note is that three of the athletes representatives walked out of the meeting before the end, and it's probably no surprise to hear who they were - Martin Fourcade, who has consistently since the situation began called for boycotts of Russian events etc., Lowell Bailey and Michal Šlesingr, with the Americans and the Czechs the loudest voices among those baying for the Russians to be banned outright, and it seems that the IBU clearly don't want to take that step. Hamza, the president of the Czech Biathlon Federation, was also among those questioning Besseberg afterwards, calling Koukalová for her opinion mid-conference, and according to some Russian sources joining the Americans in accusing the IBU of stalling for time (at least that's how it's been reported, I read this in translation from Hamza's original interview in Czech, into a language that isn't my first, so freely admit that this could be slightly erroneous).
 
Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
Also talking about Russia and political moves, the IBU's anti-doping meeting was yesterday and obviously the subject of Russia came up. Anders Besseberg announced that there are 7 of the Russians named under the McLaren Report into whom investigations are ongoing (none of whom are provisionally suspended). 2 (Romanova and Vilukhina) are suspended, 22 have been cleared due to the offences either having already been punished (athletes for whom suspensions for the same offence as found have already been served covering the time frame, which would include Starykh and Loginov) or for lack of evidence against the athletes, and 7 remain under ongoing investigation. In the meantime competition will continue as normal. I'd consider - and this is purely speculative on my part, but going on the information in the report - that it is likely, looking at the details of the Russians within the report, that the 7 are Aleksandr Chernyshov, Nadezhda Dubova, Ekaterina Glazyrina, Timofey Lapshin, Anna Nikulina, Veronika Sboeva and then either Ekaterina Shumilova or Olga Zaitseva, as these appear to have been those whose samples included substances or where the McLaren report indicated likely tampering with samples, whereas I would expect those whose only samples have not indicated any wrongdoing on the part of the athlete or where samples have gone awol have been cleared, as many were included for relatively minor reasons or they had no evidence that the athlete was involved in what then happened to the sample. Obviously there you have three people from the Russian national calendar and five from the extended national team, four at the main level and one who's never really got past the IBU Cup level. Besseberg also made it abundantly clear that Aleksandr Loginov has served his suspension and so has just as much right to be at current competitions as anybody else, as his return - and the form he's shown in winning IBU Cup race after IBU Cup race - has been a big talking point recently, with Ricco Gross trying to keep him from the World Cup team to limit the bad PR at this moment in time considering all that's going on with the Russians. However, Besseberg refused to be drawn on what would happen going forward, the 2021 World Championships in Tyumen will be discussed at the next IBU Congress, and the situation will be revisited at the next meeting on February 11.

Of note is that three of the athletes representatives walked out of the meeting before the end, and it's probably no surprise to hear who they were - Martin Fourcade, who has consistently since the situation began called for boycotts of Russian events etc., Lowell Bailey and Michal Šlesingr, with the Americans and the Czechs the loudest voices among those baying for the Russians to be banned outright, and it seems that the IBU clearly don't want to take that step. Hamza, the president of the Czech Biathlon Federation, was also among those questioning Besseberg afterwards, calling Koukalová for her opinion mid-conference, and according to some Russian sources joining the Americans in accusing the IBU of stalling for time (at least that's how it's been reported, I read this in translation from Hamza's original interview in Czech, into a language that isn't my first, so freely admit that this could be slightly erroneous).
Thanks for the details, Libertine! As I've mentioned a number of times, I haven't read either McLaren reports, so I don't know which names came out or what other details are within the reports. I get the information through a number of winter sports sites and some online magazines/newspapers.

One or two of the names that you wrote are not familiar. Two of them are Olympic medalists (Vilukhina and Zaitseva), which have since retired. Lapshin was a fairly regular skier on the WC with some podiums, Glazyrina as well. The others are/were IBU cup regulars.

I don't understand this vitriol towards the entire federation. Let due process take its course. If the IBU can't find reasons to ban athletes, what are Fourcade, Schlesingr, Koukalova, Bailey, and Hamza complaining about? What if, only the two athletes that the IBU has confirmed positives, are the only ones that will be banned, and the other 27 or 29 (however many were suspected of doping), are cleared of any wrongdoing? It won't reflect well on either McLaren nor WADA and I'd feel sorry for the Tyumen organizers that invested a lot of time, money, energy and enthusiasm in preparing for not just the IBU World Cups, but the FIS World Cup Finals at the end of the season.

And I suppose Gross not taking Loginov to the World Cups just yet is not a bad move, though expecting less attention to Loginov after the dust settles, is pushing it. I just hope that when the investigation is fully complete, and assuming that the Russians aren't banned, there won't be any silly boycotts. Leave boycotts and petitions to the politicians.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Libertine Seguros said:
...baying for the Russians to be banned outright...
That is not about someone calling for the Russians to be banned outright at all.

They left because Besseberg refused to accept the petition made by athletes. No outright ban of Russians was in discussion.
 
I know this thread is actually about XC skiing, but I don't know where else to write about it and I just have to post somewhere how absolutely ridiculous the nordic combined world cup is right now. Just look at this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016–17_FIS_Nordic_Combined_World_Cup

When I am posting this the site isn't updated yet so you can't see the result of todays race. Unsurprisingly the first 3 were again all German. So the first 12 races were all won by Germans, of the first 36 podium spots only 8 didn't go to a German and the top 4 athletes in the World Cup right now are all from Germany.
Yeah, Germans have always been good in this sport, and they have been the best team for a few seasons, but that wasn't even close to what is going on in this sport right now.

Edit: Don't know why, but the link to the wiki page doesn't work. Anyway you can just google the wiki page of the nordic combined world cup 2016/17 and you'll see what I mean.
 
Gigs_98 said:
I know this thread is actually about XC skiing, but I don't know where else to write about it and I just have to post somewhere how absolutely ridiculous the nordic combined world cup is right now. Just look at this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016–17_FIS_Nordic_Combined_World_Cup

When I am posting this the site isn't updated yet so you can't see the result of todays race. Unsurprisingly the first 3 were again all German. So the first 12 races were all won by Germans, of the first 36 podium spots only 8 didn't go to a German and the top 4 athletes in the World Cup right now are all from Germany.
Yeah, Germans have always been good in this sport, and they have been the best team for a few seasons, but that wasn't even close to what is going on in this sport right now.

Edit: Don't know why, but the link to the wiki page doesn't work. Anyway you can just google the wiki page of the nordic combined world cup 2016/17 and you'll see what I mean.

Biathlon related clinic topics have always been shared here, alongside xc, so I should think posting clinic related issues regarding NoCo shouldn't be a problem.

I've really wondered about the German NoCo team this year. Even years ago, but this season it's just mind blowing. From my point of view, the competition may not be deep, and certainly the ones that are strong in xc will always do well in this sport, more so than the better jumpers, but like you said, this is just ridiculous. Who are the coaches? How much money goes into the sport from the German sports ministry and bundeswehr?
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Libertine Seguros said:
Also talking about Russia and political moves, the IBU's anti-doping meeting was yesterday and obviously the subject of Russia came up. Anders Besseberg announced that there are 7 of the Russians named under the McLaren Report into whom investigations are ongoing (none of whom are provisionally suspended). 2 (Romanova and Vilukhina) are suspended, 22 have been cleared due to the offences either having already been punished (athletes for whom suspensions for the same offence as found have already been served covering the time frame, which would include Starykh and Loginov) or for lack of evidence against the athletes, and 7 remain under ongoing investigation. In the meantime competition will continue as normal. I'd consider - and this is purely speculative on my part, but going on the information in the report - that it is likely, looking at the details of the Russians within the report, that the 7 are Aleksandr Chernyshov, Nadezhda Dubova, Ekaterina Glazyrina, Timofey Lapshin, Anna Nikulina, Veronika Sboeva and then either Ekaterina Shumilova or Olga Zaitseva, as these appear to have been those whose samples included substances or where the McLaren report indicated likely tampering with samples, whereas I would expect those whose only samples have not indicated any wrongdoing on the part of the athlete or where samples have gone awol have been cleared, as many were included for relatively minor reasons or they had no evidence that the athlete was involved in what then happened to the sample. Obviously there you have three people from the Russian national calendar and five from the extended national team, four at the main level and one who's never really got past the IBU Cup level. Besseberg also made it abundantly clear that Aleksandr Loginov has served his suspension and so has just as much right to be at current competitions as anybody else, as his return - and the form he's shown in winning IBU Cup race after IBU Cup race - has been a big talking point recently, with Ricco Gross trying to keep him from the World Cup team to limit the bad PR at this moment in time considering all that's going on with the Russians. However, Besseberg refused to be drawn on what would happen going forward, the 2021 World Championships in Tyumen will be discussed at the next IBU Congress, and the situation will be revisited at the next meeting on February 11.

Of note is that three of the athletes representatives walked out of the meeting before the end, and it's probably no surprise to hear who they were - Martin Fourcade, who has consistently since the situation began called for boycotts of Russian events etc., Lowell Bailey and Michal Šlesingr, with the Americans and the Czechs the loudest voices among those baying for the Russians to be banned outright, and it seems that the IBU clearly don't want to take that step. Hamza, the president of the Czech Biathlon Federation, was also among those questioning Besseberg afterwards, calling Koukalová for her opinion mid-conference, and according to some Russian sources joining the Americans in accusing the IBU of stalling for time (at least that's how it's been reported, I read this in translation from Hamza's original interview in Czech, into a language that isn't my first, so freely admit that this could be slightly erroneous).
Fourcarde has actually changed his stance a few times, sometimes he's calling for boycotts, then he's on German TV saying how it's not just about Russian, but doping in general and you also have statements like this one when he's clearly saying that he's against boycotting Tjumen and that you shouldn't blame all Russians.
http://www.sport1.de/wintersport/biathlon/2016/12/doping-fourcade-gegen-boykott-und-kollektivstrafe-fuer-russland
The anti doping talk from the Italians and especially the athletes from South Tyrol is also a bit of a joke, not a single one of them has said a thing about Taschler (who was still in charge of the whole event in Antholz and just stepped down a week ago, the IBU finally put some pressure on the race organizers), jet they cry about the evil Russians that have stolen their medals.
 
Nordic Combined I fear is something of a moribund sport as an international competition. I don't think Frenzel, Rydzek or Rießle are that much better than champions of previous years, but that the competition has just wilted away through a variety of factors. Austria have never really replaced Felix Gottwald and now Bernhard Gruber is getting older, the likes of Orter just haven't got to the same level of recognition. The Japanese have never quite broken through mainly as Akito Watabe is like wintersport's answer to Emma Johansson, continually being good enough on near enough any course to make the top 10, savvy enough to make the right moves towards the podium but seldom strong enough to win, and the French have pulled back a lot of funding since the retirement of Jason Lamy Chappuis. A few of the strongest jumpers were simply not strong enough on the skis (in fact some of the more extreme examples include Evgeny Klimov, now the Russians' best ski jumper, who switched from Nordic Combined before last season after some disastrous ski outings), while the Germans' main rivals come from the Norwegians, for whom there's only really the young prospect Riiber (who is the most likely to upset the German results whitewash, but also is developing quite an injury problem for someone so young) and Klemetsen (who is not a fast skier and is getting old) who are consistent jumpers; they have several fast skiers like Graabak, Moan and Kokslien but they're seemingly always starting too far back.

The sport has tried to rejuvenate itself by introducing new formats in recent years, because Gundersen after Gundersen makes it pretty formulaic, and the hopp portion isn't always broadcast in some nations, leaving it just a handicap start skiing race with people who aren't as quick as the specialists or the biathletes. Things like the penalty race were scrapped as too confusing (and the differences between penalty sections too loose as somebody could jump nearly 10m further and gain nothing from it if they didn't cross a penalty line), and the Team Sprint needs to be, it lacks even the tiny element of interest that it does in XC when done with handicap start, but they show that the FIS is trying to invigorate interest in the sport, because one country winning everything does little for viewer interest, as we've found in XC especially among women's races in recent years. Especially when, with all due respect to him, Eric Frenzel is not as media-ready a personality as Lamy Chappuis was, or similarly dominant champions in other FIS disciplines. He's too shy, too quiet, a bit too bland a personality to really market hard for many people.

So how does somebody get into NoCo? It's got to be from ski jumpers, right? After all, if you're a budding ski jumper and you can't quite make the grade, you might be useful with a pair of skate skis on your feet, and then you keep on doing what you're doing. But for a budding XC skier, it's a lot harder to justify moving to NoCo, because if you feel you want to move away from pure XC, biathlon is much quicker to pick up, and in many respects much safer, because it's easier as an adult to learn shooting from scratch than to learn ski jumping from scratch when you're already physically built for XC skiing, because the kind of musculature required for ski jumping is so different from that needed for XC. I know that the Germans keep their young ski jump talents involved in XC until they're ready to take them to the pro competitions (there are pictures around online of established German ski jumpers like Freund and Wellinger rollerskiing or in the Loipe as youngsters), presumably with a view to converting some to NoCo if necessary or if they show a particular aptitude for it. I assume other teams must need to do similar because NoCo isn't a sport you just stumble onto and decide "I want to do that", not least because both of its constituent elements have a lot more money in them.

None of which has anything to do with doping or any bearing on how suspicious the domination of the sport by the German team at present is, of course, but just elaborating on the sport itself and why it's in the position it is.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Re: Re:

BullsFan22 said:
I don't understand this vitriol towards the entire federation. Let due process take its course. If the IBU can't find reasons to ban athletes, what are Fourcade, Schlesingr, Koukalova, Bailey, and Hamza complaining about?
They are not comlaining not banning athletes, but for different reasons. That was misunderstanding on Libertine's side I believe.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
But for a budding XC skier, it's a lot harder to justify moving to NoCo, because if you feel you want to move away from pure XC, biathlon is much quicker to pick up, and in many respects much safer, because it's easier as an adult to learn shooting from scratch than to learn ski jumping from scratch when you're already physically built for XC skiing, because the kind of musculature required for ski jumping is so different from that needed for XC.
I think very strong might be mental factor here. As an adult one probably has to overcome much bigger fear from ski jumping than any teen. That's natural thing. It's easy to do "crazy" and dangerous things as a teen, you don't even have proper grasp of what death means...

Anyway, I think Germans are really might that good at the moment, not because of relative weakness of the field.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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http://sport.idnes.cz/foto.aspx?r=biatlon&c=A170121_211051_biatlon_tof&foto=TOF68cf36_ev1.jpg

This is full text of above mentioned petition biathletes (and trainers) proposed to IBU. It's worth reading.

Russian athletes at first signed the petition too, but with additional requirement - to forbid start of all athletes with therapeutic use exemeptions issued by WADA. When they were told that this requirement isn't in competency of IBU but WADA and thus basically irellevant, they withdraw their signatures from petition.

I am not clear on one thign - whether Russian requirement was only about TUE's, or any athletes using banned medication.

Related to this I have a question (which was certainly answered here many times so I apologize for asking again): how are TUE's granted and how are granted athletes with for example asthma granted use of medication such a salbutamol up to 1600 ug/24 hour dose. Does the later grant WADA? Or is that in competency of national team doctors and antidoping agencies?
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Re: Re:

BullsFan22 said:
I don't understand this vitriol towards the entire federation.
I quite could understand that... I think it's because large scale state-fueled dopigng fraud involving agents of intelligence service, Russian antidoping agency and so on. I think it's very understandable people are annoyed with Russian biathlon federation at the moment.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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lukas bauer doping ?

..i've been following the carreer of one of the sport's greats lucas bauer for years. have gained respect for his clean classic style etc etc. but i still had my suspicions of his blood doping.

to make it clear - he never failed a doping test and many of his brilliant victories are not necessarily suspicious... still, there are some points in his career when an eye brow had to react.

after being a promising junior, he achieved very little in his 1st 4 seasons at the highest level. not even a single top 10. then, suddenly he started to improve out of nowhere in the next 2 world cups with consistent top 10. and then, he went into the overdrive dominating the tour de ski and finally the world cup in 2007-8 with one of the most ridiculous point margins. he went from the 35th the previous season to the absolute top. wtf !

mind you, these performances were achieved in the background of rampant epo use and blood doping. people were seeing mulegg, but lucas told everyone its 'their problem'.

these types of performances have often, particularly in case of sloppy russians, been proven dope-driven. but perhaps lucas was a tad smarter and more careful ?

he sure never failed a test, but it was once leaked to expressen (i personally read it) that he was on the fis black list of skiers with highly irregular haemoglobin. some were later in fact caught. but lucas, being smarter, just 'pulled back' and stopped the ridiculous performances.

anyone can add (or subtract) ?
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Re: lukas bauer doping ?

python said:
..i've been following the carreer of one of the sport's greats lucas bauer for years. have gained respect for his clean classic style etc etc. but i still had my suspicions of his blood doping.

to make it clear - he never failed a doping test and many of his brilliant victories are not necessarily suspicious... still, there are some points in his career when an eye brow had to react.

after being a promising junior, he achieved very little in his 1st 4 seasons at the highest level. not even a single top 10. then, suddenly he started to improve out of nowhere in the next 2 world cups with consistent top 10. and then, he went into the overdrive dominating the tour de ski and finally the world cup in 2007-8 with one of the most ridiculous point margins. he went from the 35th the previous season to the absolute top. wtf !

mind you, these performances were achieved in the background of rampant epo use and blood doping. people were seeing mulegg, but lucas told everyone its 'their problem'.

these types of performances have often, particularly in case of sloppy russians, been proven dope-driven. but perhaps lucas was a tad smarter and more careful ?

he sure never failed a test, but it was once leaked to expressen (i personally read it) that he was on the fis black list of skiers with highly irregular haemoglobin. some were later in fact caught. but lucas, being smarter, just 'pulled back' and stopped the ridiculous performances.

anyone can add (or subtract) ?
And still you claim you are not reacting at me ;)
 
Sep 25, 2009
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Re: lukas bauer doping ?

python said:
..i've been following the carreer of one of the sport's greats lucas bauer for years. have gained respect for his clean classic style etc etc. but i still had my suspicions of his blood doping.

to make it clear - he never failed a doping test and many of his brilliant victories are not necessarily suspicious... still, there are some points in his career when an eye brow had to react.

after being a promising junior, he achieved very little in his 1st 4 seasons at the highest level. not even a single top 10. then, suddenly he started to improve out of nowhere in the next 2 world cups with consistent top 10. and then, he went into the overdrive dominating the tour de ski and finally the world cup in 2007-8 with one of the most ridiculous point margins. he went from the 35th the previous season to the absolute top. wtf !

mind you, these performances were achieved in the background of rampant epo use and blood doping. people were seeing mulegg, but lucas told everyone its 'their problem'.

these types of performances have often, particularly in case of sloppy russians, been proven dope-driven. but perhaps lucas was a tad smarter and more careful ?

he sure never failed a test, but it was once leaked to expressen (i personally read it) that he was on the fis black list of skiers with highly irregular haemoglobin. some were later in fact caught. but lucas, being smarter, just 'pulled back' and stopped the ridiculous performances.

anyone can add (or subtract) ?
to reference the bauer potential doping, decided to add this oldish link (swedish):
http://www.expressen.se/sport/den-svarta-listan-infor-skid-vm/

some athletes said he was an arrogant ***, while others disagreed. i personally suspect he doped at one time, but being a non-Scandinavian from an insignificant skiing nation, he was lucky to avoid the bright light.
 
Re: lukas bauer doping ?

python said:
python said:
..i've been following the carreer of one of the sport's greats lucas bauer for years. have gained respect for his clean classic style etc etc. but i still had my suspicions of his blood doping.

to make it clear - he never failed a doping test and many of his brilliant victories are not necessarily suspicious... still, there are some points in his career when an eye brow had to react.

after being a promising junior, he achieved very little in his 1st 4 seasons at the highest level. not even a single top 10. then, suddenly he started to improve out of nowhere in the next 2 world cups with consistent top 10. and then, he went into the overdrive dominating the tour de ski and finally the world cup in 2007-8 with one of the most ridiculous point margins. he went from the 35th the previous season to the absolute top. wtf !

mind you, these performances were achieved in the background of rampant epo use and blood doping. people were seeing mulegg, but lucas told everyone its 'their problem'.

these types of performances have often, particularly in case of sloppy russians, been proven dope-driven. but perhaps lucas was a tad smarter and more careful ?

he sure never failed a test, but it was once leaked to expressen (i personally read it) that he was on the fis black list of skiers with highly irregular haemoglobin. some were later in fact caught. but lucas, being smarter, just 'pulled back' and stopped the ridiculous performances.

anyone can add (or subtract) ?
to reference the bauer potential doping, decided to add this oldish link (swedish):
http://www.expressen.se/sport/den-svarta-listan-infor-skid-vm/

some athletes said he was an arrogant ***, while others disagreed. i personally suspect he doped at one time, but being a non-Scandinavian from an insignificant skiing nation, he was lucky to avoid the bright light.

At the 2008 Tour de Ski, when Bauer dominated the tour, NRK literally asked him if he was doing it clean. First I thought, and still think that question was a bit disrespectful and too direct. But I guess that's the beauty of Norwegian media in regards to xc. When a foreigner beats all the Norwegians, particularly the Bauer did, the Norwegians always cry foul play.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Re: lukas bauer doping ?

python said:
some athletes said he was an arrogant ***, while others disagreed.
My impression always was that he was more on arrogant side, as is most succesful athletes, but clever enough to mostly hide it.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Re: lukas bauer doping ?

python said:
mind you, these performances were achieved in the background of rampant epo use and blood doping. people were seeing mulegg, but lucas told everyone its 'their problem'.
2007-2008 season in times of Muehlegg? I don't know what to say... Really you don't know Muehlegg was 2002? Ridiculous. Salt lake city was 2002, 2008 is six years later. 90's are are known as period of rampant EPO use and blood doping.

It isn't without interest, Bauers succes began after Salt Lake City 2002 and Lahti 2001; actually probably AFTER era of hardest blood doping doping ended. Maybe he just couldn't keep up with doped rest of the field in 90's an first yers of 2000's.

While dominating or among those dominating reagular season, should big event like Olympics or World champs come, he was overshadowed by names like Veerpalu (who was accused of doping), who where nowhere or much worse throughout regular season. That supports that he was clean or among cleaner ones at least, while others stepped up their doping for big action. He is relatively unsuccsesul at Olympics and world champs.

He was often ill, too, one of the more fragile skiers out there. That is also the case of 2007 season, where he fell ill after succesful beginning of season where he was 4th, 3rd and 6th, did not attend Tour de Ski and January races because of ilness thus lost lots of avialable FIS points, but later in February came back with 28, 4, 7, 8, 5, 6 and 24th place. Despite missing lot of races, he finished 19th in distance world cup. Mind you, 37th place is pretty misleading in his case because he had zero points in sprint cup that year as he did not enter single one. Overall pretty decent results, so the 2008 season isn't so "wtf!" as you say. 2008 he has won Tour de Ski where he won two stages, that isn't that much after all, is it. In coming years he was 5th, 2nd and 3rd in distance world cup, so maintained pretty decent level. No one hit wonder. And if memory doesn't deceive me, it could even be better if not for wrong way in one or two races, I remember him losing win this way.
 
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