Doping in XC skiing

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vcampbell said:
About the sprint of yesterday; in the top 12 only Northug and Cologna skied the 30 km, and don't forget, that in the final there were many of the best sprinters. Petukhov, Joensson... That was just impossible for Northug to beat them. Kershaw also very fast, so I think the 5th place was more than enough for Northug.
And we can say that he is one of the most fastest skier in the world (in long distance sure), but after he starts in all distance there is nothing surprising that the pure sprinters beat him, because where do they start? Only in sprints, and sometimes they do the mini Tours. Until he beat in sprints people like Cologna, Hellner, Legkov, Bauer he has nothing to worried about.

But really, I just can't wait for the Tour de Ski, I think it could be very exciting, especially if Cologna, Bauer, Magnificat, Clara, Legkov and Vylegzhanin will be in a good form too.
I am suspecting that this year it will NOT be exciting for the win in TdS.
Northug will take the sprints more seriously, and his aeroboc work is at a new level. We saw it in the season opener relay. He had loads of reserve, stretching his back, at what for the others was real racing.

I think both Northug and Cologna did the sprint not because they felt they could win, but in hopes to score WC points. And when you get through qualifying, why stop there? Might as well try. The world cup win is a big trophy in a non-world, non-Olympic year. It's that, the TdS, and the rest is training.
If Northug would be lazy in the qualiy, there'd be risk that home favorite Cologna would be inspired to get to the final for mega points. Sprinting may be hard, but it's just an extra day or two of recovery, in return for very expensive WC points. At their end of the ranking, those points bear more than just sentimental value.

On a seperate not. I was wondering whether XC skier might perhaps downplay their bodyweights, much as LA has been recorded to. To not raise too many questions about their power output or capacity to get through long climbs. Those guys are so buff...
 
Jul 8, 2010
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Cloxxki said:
I am suspecting that this year it will NOT be exciting for the win in TdS.
Northug will take the sprints more seriously, and his aeroboc work is at a new never. We saw it in the season opener relay. He had loads of reserve, stretching his back, at what for the others was real racing.

I think both Northug and Cologna did the sprint not because they felt they could win, but in hopes to score WC points. And when you get through qualifying, why stop there? Might as well try. The world cup win is a big trophy in a non-world, non-Olympic year. It's that, the TdS, and the rest is training.
If Northug would be lazy in the qualiy, there'd be risk that home favorite Cologna would be inspired to get to the final for mega points. Sprinting may be hard, but it's just an extra day or two of recovery, in return for very expensive WC points. At their end of the ranking, those points bear more than just sentimental value.

On a seperate not. I was wondering whether XC skier might perhaps downplay their bodyweights, much as LA has been recorded to. To not raise too many questions about their power output or capacity to get through long climbs. Those guys are so buff...
As I remember Northug always took the sprints seriously. 2 years ago that was the reason why he lost it. At the 22 km classic race he went with Bauer, then he lost contact, because of the hard tempo, out of energy, and on the Alpe Cermis there was no chance for him. If he would have stayed in the peloton and save energy, then he could have won it.
Last year there was no surprise, his no1 target was the Oslo WC. His form was good at the TdS, but not enough to beat Cologna who was in a super form. This year? There is only the general, and the TdS, and I have no doubt that he has learned from his mistakes.
 
vcampbell said:
As I remember Northug always took the sprints seriously. 2 years ago that was the reason why he lost it. At the 22 km classic race he went with Bauer, then he lost contact, because of the hard tempo, out of energy, and on the Alpe Cermis there was no chance for him. If he would have stayed in the peloton and save energy, then he could have won it.
Last year there was no surprise, his no1 target was the Oslo WC. His form was good at the TdS, but not enough to beat Cologna who was in a super form. This year? There is only the general, and the TdS, and I have no doubt that he has learned from his mistakes.
I saw Northug do lady step in the WC opener relay. I've not even see him do that on Alpe Cermis, I believe. He is upping his efficiency game. I've always considered him a relatively weak Alpe Cermis climber. This year, I am not so sure. If he can agree to lady step the steeper bits, he can get up there pretty quick. It seems unlikely Cologna and Bauer will be on their previous peak levels, but Northug looks to be stronger than ever.
And whether Bauer and friends will be allowed to play the intermediate points game as much...
 
Jul 8, 2010
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Cloxxki said:
I saw Northug do lady step in the WC opener relay. I've not even see him do that on Alpe Cermis, I believe. He is upping his efficiency game. I've always considered him a relatively weak Alpe Cermis climber. This year, I am not so sure. If he can agree to lady step the steeper bits, he can get up there pretty quick. It seems unlikely Cologna and Bauer will be on their previous peak levels, but Northug looks to be stronger than ever.
And whether Bauer and friends will be allowed to play the intermediate points game as much...
That's sure that he is in the strongest form ever, and we should not forget, that last TdS he skied the 5th best time on Alpe Cermis, but only was a few seconds slower than the second faster, only Bauer were half minute faster than everyone else.
 
vcampbell said:
That's sure that he is in the strongest form ever, and we should not forget, that last TdS he skied the 5th best time on Alpe Cermis, but only was a few seconds slower than the second faster, only Bauer were half minute faster than everyone else.
5th man in the world at anything is relatively weak for him. King of boredom. luckily, he's got a personality on the skis.
 
Jul 8, 2010
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Cloxxki said:
5th man in the world at anything is relatively weak for him. King of boredom. luckily, he's got a personality on the skis.
5th man on Alpe Cermis is I think actually relatively good for him. 5th place at the TdS gonna be weak, but I don't think it's ever going to happen. Win or second no worse.
 
Jun 3, 2010
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Tyler'sTwin said:
Lol, love it when people really gets the hammer. Happens to seldom nowadays, but was fun when all the sprinters tried to go the distance in the Kuusamo mini-tour. A lot of stiff legs:)

Must include the classic of course: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6_NUtqE9hA

Aaahh, the moose(the elk), the moose has started :)
 
Is it me, or are the Austrian biathlon men setting more credible relative ski times lately? even the shooting accuracy seems less, which could be related.

And more generally, I seem to see less agressive last-lap skiing. Wasn't there much more jump skate going on in recent years?
 
Cloxxki said:
Is it me, or are the Austrian biathlon men setting more credible relative ski times lately? even the shooting accuracy seems less, which could be related.

And more generally, I seem to see less agressive last-lap skiing. Wasn't there much more jump skate going on in recent years?
Snow conditions at Hochfilzen could have affected that, very little opportunity to pass, so groups were beholden to the leader's pace much of the time.

The Austrian biathlon men's ski times have been generally down for the last year and a half. There has only been the occasional real speed show.
 
Libertine Seguros said:
Snow conditions at Hochfilzen could have affected that, very little opportunity to pass, so groups were beholden to the leader's pace much of the time.

The Austrian biathlon men's ski times have been generally down for the last year and a half. There has only been the occasional real speed show.
2 years ago, the finishes of pursuits and mass starts were at times like XC sprint races. Extremely agressive propulsion style. Especially the Austrians were hard to beat man-to-man and for overall ski speed.

What I mean to say, it all seems more natural. I am seeing skiers get tired near the end. Weak sprints.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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time to revive the thread...

in the news is that in 2012 will be introduced a steroid passport. it’s a major-major development !


not that steroid profiling hasn't been used before. it had. the news is that it will now be used for sanctioning like blood passport. also, i have heard that the 2 recent positives in xc skiing for hGH were the result of targeted testing based on clues derived from steroid profiling

evil tongues of course tie neuner’s early retirement to the foreknowledge of the introduction…personally i don’t think that was THE reason.
 
Mar 4, 2010
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python said:
time to revive the thread...

in the news is that in 2012 will be introduced a steroid passport. it’s a major-major development !


not that steroid profiling hasn't been used before. it had. the news is that it will now be used for sanctioning like blood passport. also, i have heard that the 2 recent positives in xc skiing for hGH were the result of targeted testing based on clues derived from steroid profiling

evil tongues of course tie neuner’s early retirement to the foreknowledge of the introduction…personally i don’t think that was THE reason.
That seems far fetched. She was talking about lack of motivation due to having won everything and saying she would retire early and couldn't even promise she'd be around next season after the 2010 olympics. She took an extra months vacation before starting pre-season training that summer and kept complaining about lacking motivation, but kept going with Ruhpolding 2012 in mind. There was nothing sudden about her retirement.
 
Why would Neuner need to retire to hide from dope testing? There is actually nothing left for her to win. She could go try XC, or something else entirely, or continue in biathlon clean (on the assumption that if she were to be retiring to hide from dope testing she must logically be doping) with a lack of motivation as the perfect excuse considering she's already won everything there is to win in the sport.
 
Probably far fetched, yes. However, if we take what Libertine wrote and just look at the matter from the obverse side of the coin, wouldn't it be in both Neuner's and biathlon's interests to preserve the image of her dynasty - even at the "cost" of an already unmotivated Neuner retiring early? Instead of being opposites, the two sides of the coin would rather take in the other's washing.

But speculation aside, I for one warmly wellcome the steroid passport. If what python said about it providing grounds for targeted testing and thereby eventually bringing in concrete results is indeed true, even better.
 
I a, not saying she is clean, but i certainly don't believe that Neuner is doing so well cause she is on steriods. That's pretty far fetched.
Anyway, the inroduction of such a steroids pass port is a good thing. I hope it works and will show some success.
 
Mar 4, 2010
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It would require that:

a) She dopes.

b) She thinks the competition is clean.

c) She thinks the roid-pass will force her to compete on a (more) level playing field.

d) She thinks she can't compete on a more level playing field.
(I guess micro-dosing EPO and blood isn't enough to compete with clean talents like Mäkäräinen and Domracheva.)

That seems really unlikely. Neuner has always been outstanding. She's arguably the best in history at every age from very early on. She went from success to success to success. At no point in her career does it make sense for her to have started doping, unless she thinks it's a normal thing to do. That everyone does it. One doesn't just sit down and think, "I'm beating everyone around me, perhaps I should start doping?". So if she dopes, she probably thinks her rivals do too. I can't imagine she's someone who think she cannot compete on a level playing field.

Besides, she didn't retire after the dynEPO-test, the CERA-test or the blood passport. Or stop being the best skier.
 
In think the Austrian biathletes really deserve a closer look.
The last few years they were almost coming out of nowhere and put up very fast skiing times. Especially on the last laps.
No since last year and even more this year, they are nowhere near this level anymore. At least not by now.
This reminds me a lot on the austrian cross country miracle off 1999. Seems like the biathletes were on the same path but had to cut abck their doping programm now.
 
Bavarianrider said:
In think the Austrian biathletes really deserve a closer look.
The last few years they were almost coming out of nowhere and put up very fast skiing times. Especially on the last laps.
No since last year and even more this year, they are nowhere near this level anymore. At least not by now.
This reminds me a lot on the austrian cross country miracle off 1999. Seems like the biathletes were on the same path but had to cut abck their doping programm now.
Glad to see I'm not the only one.
Doesn't good shooting come in part when the skiin goes easy? They've been missing target more than when they were setting those fast ski times, and hopping around the last lap corners, jumpskating the steepest and longest hills.

What interests me, is that they don't just retire.

Regarding Neuner, it does take far-fetched logic to distrust her and her motivations. She's just not that type of winner. If she were a doper, or a bigger one than her direct peers, she'd be a new category of her own, because of her personality.
When she does biathlon, she seems mentally competitive, but she doesn't seem to be competitive as a person, if that makes sense. She doesn't need the success, or doesn't think she needs it. I kind of associate with that. I have great plans, but won't be sour if I end up coming short. Some goals I achieved, and need no revisiting.

As a fan, I wish she'd take a small step back by quitting shooting. The rifle doesn't match her personality. Keep skating, and do some big XC races. I think she can take on Kowalczyk and Bjoergen over a 10km indivitdual.
 
Ney the Viking said:
I wouldnt want to arm wrestle her thats for sure :p Hasnt the finnish coach said he thinks she uses roids to get those arms?
Brrr...

I am glad such physique doesn't work up the Alpe Cermis. Big muscles can store only so much glycogen, and an uphill sprint can only be extented that far. Even the craziest oxygen absorbtion into the most genetically gifted lungs won't allow you to follow the world's best natural skiers. It's not a lot of justice, but at least a little.
 
Mar 4, 2010
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Cloxxki said:
Today, Hochfilzen Austria.
10km Men's sprint Biathlon

Before the podium ceremony, Carl Johan Bergman (SWE) very friendlily chatting with Andrei Makoveev (RUS) (surpringly not-slow with 5th ski time today) reporting that he was still fresh near the end of the race. Spectators could indeed see Bergman push really hard while in good control, skiing a different technique (V2 uphills) from most others, towards a 3rd ski time.

Bergmann is old and bald, last won anything significant a long time ago, and now wins two Worldcup weekend in a row. Skis faster than we seem to be used to from him.

Whatever is making Bergman fast, isn't affecting Ferry, getting the 20th ski time. BTW Ferry has been outspokingly anti-doping. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Björn_Ferry#Opposition_to_doping
Ustyugov (RUS) got the fastest ski time, bib 41. I had the impression the track got slower towards the end. But Svendsen (NOR) got the 2nd ski time with bib 93. So there goes that theory.

Discuss!
Libertine Seguros said:
Maybe as he's getting older (and balder) Bergman's unable to be competitive full-season so is going hell for leather for these early events, especially as his home event is one of them, and as a result is in peak form now, where many of the likely overall WC contenders are not. Weren't most of Bergman's best results last year in the early events too, or am I mis-remembering?

I hope that's all it is, but I'm not exactly going to hold my breath, shall we say.
Cloxxki said:
Hey that's a very plausible one, peaking at GO. I've go for that appproach myself. A WC win is a WC win. The fact that it was an easier one to get doesn't matter. Everyone was there.
The baldness and lack of fatique got to me today. All those 30+ elite athletes start to look alike to me. I am saying this, 35 with a very full head of hear, BTW, so they may hate me more than I hate what I fear some are on.
I was happy for his recent win, it's the charm of biathlon, sometimes you have both a good ski day, and good shooting. The opposite just happens more often.
It's great to be on form when others are not, but come on, Svendsen was really ON, and barely got a few seconds on Bergmann as he cruised the course with long hits. I'll just hope some more....
With half the season behind us, Bergman has been, on average, ~0.5% faster than last winter.
 
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