Doping in XC skiing

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Feb 15, 2014
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lowenthusiast said:
I put together a list of skiers who couldn't race due to high hemoglobin levels from 1999 to 2011 and those were:
* Johan Muelhegg (later busted for darbepoetin/EPO)
* Larissa Lazutina (later busted for darbepoetin/EPO)
* Olga Danilova (later busted for darbepoetin/EPO)
* Virpi Kuitunen (later busted for EPO)
* Reto Burgermeister (later coach of Chernussov and Legkov)
* Jaak Mae (coached by Mati Alaver and trained with Veerpalu - busted)
* Kein Einaste (coached by Mati Alaver)
* Kaspar Kokk (coached by Mati Alaver)
* Algo Kärp (coached by Mati Alaver)
* Maxim Vyleghzanin
* Manuela Di Centa
* Sergei Dolidovich

- There might be more... Feel free to share the names.

Also, Karel Tammjärv who got busted claimed that Mati Alaver gave him Schmidt (blood doping doctor) contacts in mid 2016. He also claimed that Veerpalu knew about it. Mati Alaver was also the coach of Poltaranin (since 2014) who too, got busted for blood doping.
Kärp confessed to blood doping yesterday as well, and like Tammjärv, said the connection to Schmidt was made through Alaver.
 
Jan 7, 2019
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Thor de France said:
Apart from that I think you make som valid points, and I believe that if doping is made illegal everywhere and the ones that get caught is charged with crimes that has to do with fraud etc. and is investigated by the police more people will get caught. I trust the police far more than i trust the people in organisations like WADA, FIS, IBU and so on. It is well known with corruption in those kind of organisations and they also have to protect the interest of the sport to make money themselves. If the biggest profiles get caught, they lose interest, which leads to fewer people watching which leads to less interest/money from sponsors.
Interestingly in cross-country skiing the problem is different. Norway is so dominant that people are switching off. So frankly sponsors would "have to do" something to stop or at least decrease the Norwegian march to keep their investment.

But then again I don't know, how the financial things work there and maybe all key sponsors are Norwegian, who are perfectly happy with their dominance, and that's how it should be?

Johaug was caught though, so "big fishes" could be caught too if stars align. But indeed I can't ever imagine the whole Norwegian team being caught in the way Russians, Austrians or Finns have been caught in the past.
 
Jan 3, 2016
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BullsFan22 said:
Even with Sochi, the Russian men never dominated, sure, there was the 50km
3 russians on a podium were a bit of luck also, Cologna broke his ski just before the final climb.
 
Jan 3, 2016
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I am so disappointed with Polto. One day last summer I had a training session at the same roller track with him (and Nikita), his classic was just so amazing.
 
Jan 3, 2016
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search said:
Rider said:
wansteadimp said:
Any last minute injury withdrawals from the Biathlon World Champs yet?
Based on russian media Garanichev and Malyshko could face some problem.
this goes back to 2014 though, the way I understand it. So it has nothing to do with the Erfurt/Seefeld proceedings

https://www.sport-express.ru/biathlon/reviews/biatlon-chempionat-mira-skandal-s-dopingom-v-sbornoy-rossii-1520121/
Yes, you are right.
 
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wansteadimp said:
Any last minute injury withdrawals from the Biathlon World Champs yet?
No, but the opposite - Vishnevskaya has been cleared and is on her way to Östersund from Kazakhstan. She's the only one of the provisionally suspended nonet to have been cleared however. Malyshko is on the startlist for tomorrow's Mixed Relay, so they obviously don't anticipate any problems, but plenty of people on-site to step in regardless. A further problem for the Russians is that Margarita Vasileva has missed 3 tests in the course of a year (the last one was due to a failure to update the ADAMS system when she was called up to the North American World Cup rounds to which she was travelling when the testers turned up at her house in Krasnoyarsk). Her hearing was unsuccessful and she is therefore provisionally suspended, she will likely appeal within the next seven days. If she gets 2 years it's probably her career done, it's taken her until 27 to get into the national team and with younger names finally making their way through the system, and Akimova and Virolaynen to return from their baby breaks, they likely won't need her in a couple of years' time.
 
Johaug winning the 30k today with almost 2 minutes advantage over everyone with the trademark Froome style cadence. I think she has now won ever single distance event she has entered, probably would have won Tour de Ski as well but didn't race that for some reason.
 
Jan 7, 2019
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Lequack said:
Johaug winning the 30k today with almost 2 minutes advantage over everyone with the trademark Froome style cadence. I think she has now won ever single distance event she has entered, probably would have won Tour de Ski as well but didn't race that for some reason.
I'm wondering, how many viewers are still left watching this one woman show.
 
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Lequack said:
Johaug winning the 30k today with almost 2 minutes advantage over everyone with the trademark Froome style cadence. I think she has now won ever single distance event she has entered, probably would have won Tour de Ski as well but didn't race that for some reason.
Reminds me of Geneviève Jeanson, going solo from the start and building up a huge lead by the finish.

Being a cycling forum, we all know how that ended...
 
This wasn't even her most dominant win. She had scores of more dominant wins in the season before she was busted for doping. 2015/2016 was her best season, even if she didn't win every single race. In the Oslo 30km she won by 3:46 over Oestberg and 4:16 over Kylloenen who were 2nd and 3rd respectively. I've never seen anyone escape so quickly from the pack as Johaug did that day.
 
Jan 7, 2019
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I read a bit from the beginning of this thread and talking about history, there is one guy I am pondering about and I would like hear some thoughts - Per Elofsson. The popular image of him leaves an impression of a heroic fighter, who was battling against odds against doped skiers. Defeating the doped Isometsä and Mühlegg in Lahti 2001 pursuit. From "his" era, people talk about all his rivals as doping suspects, i.e Mühlegg, 'asthmatic' Norwegians, the Finns, the Russians, the Austrians, the Estonians. But not about Elofsson himself.

However, what has happened to Elofsson's health? His career derailed quickly and his health has gone worse ever since. After all, it is often also said that doping could have bad long-term effects for health. Is there an untold story about Per, which doesn't fit the official narrative?
 
Feb 15, 2014
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zarnack said:
I read a bit from the beginning of this thread and talking about history, there is one guy I am pondering about and I would like hear some thoughts - Per Elofsson. The popular image of him leaves an impression of a heroic fighter, who was battling against odds against doped skiers. Defeating the doped Isometsä and Mühlegg in Lahti 2001 pursuit. From "his" era, people talk about all his rivals as doping suspects, i.e Mühlegg, 'asthmatic' Norwegians, the Finns, the Russians, the Austrians, the Estonians. But not about Elofsson himself.

However, what has happened to Elofsson's health? His career derailed quickly and his health has gone worse ever since. After all, it is often also said that doping could have bad long-term effects for health. Is there an untold story about Per, which doesn't fit the official narrative?
Health issues can happen to anyone, and there are lots of certainly doped athletes who seem to be perfectly healthy.

A long term mycoplasma infection was the quoted reason for Elofsson's retirement. I do agree that his strongest years were a bit before the the EPO test really started catching athletes - he was generally a lot weaker in 2003 despite the world championship medals - so I have never really felt certain if Per only had good PR, or if he really was competing clean and beating the doped Finns in Lahti. I hope he was clean, and I hope his health still allows him to live a normal life.

However, there's another Swede I always had a soft spot for - Matthias Fredriksson, who suddenly won the World Cup total score in 2002-03. He was very, very occasionally on the podium before, but after the big busts of Salt Lake City he had his two best seasons around the age 29-30ish - perhaps a case of temporarily receding levels of doping revealing his natural talent?
 
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alternator said:
zarnack said:
I read a bit from the beginning of this thread and talking about history, there is one guy I am pondering about and I would like hear some thoughts - Per Elofsson. The popular image of him leaves an impression of a heroic fighter, who was battling against odds against doped skiers. Defeating the doped Isometsä and Mühlegg in Lahti 2001 pursuit. From "his" era, people talk about all his rivals as doping suspects, i.e Mühlegg, 'asthmatic' Norwegians, the Finns, the Russians, the Austrians, the Estonians. But not about Elofsson himself.

However, what has happened to Elofsson's health? His career derailed quickly and his health has gone worse ever since. After all, it is often also said that doping could have bad long-term effects for health. Is there an untold story about Per, which doesn't fit the official narrative?
Health issues can happen to anyone, and there are lots of certainly doped athletes who seem to be perfectly healthy.

A long term mycoplasma infection was the quoted reason for Elofsson's retirement. I do agree that his strongest years were a bit before the the EPO test really started catching athletes - he was generally a lot weaker in 2003 despite the world championship medals - so I have never really felt certain if Per only had good PR, or if he really was competing clean and beating the doped Finns in Lahti. I hope he was clean, and I hope his health still allows him to live a normal life.

However, there's another Swede I always had a soft spot for - Matthias Fredriksson, who suddenly won the World Cup total score in 2002-03. He was very, very occasionally on the podium before, but after the big busts of Salt Lake City he had his two best seasons around the age 29-30ish - perhaps a case of temporarily receding levels of doping revealing his natural talent?
+1
 
I was a big fan of Elofsson. He was very talented. His technique was very good, both classic and skating. He was also known for his training. He never fully recovered from the disappointments of the 2002 Olympics. He chased Mühlegg, but burned himself trying to do it and eventually he dropped out. He was close in the 15km classic and later moved up to bronze in the one day pursuit. He didn't race the relay in hopes of saving himself for the 50km but he had no shot in that race, with Mühlegg, Veerpalu, the Norwegians and Ivanov (who moved up to gold after Mühlegg's DQ).

The Swedes had a very poor Olympics as far as XC was concerned. They didn't have a bad team on paper, but Jonsson who won silver in the 50km in Nagano was past his prime I think, Ingesson was solid but a medal threat? No. Fredriksson was a massive disappointment after a string of impressive results in Lahti and of course Elofsson had a tough time, as I said. This was sprinter Björn Lind's real breakthrough. He made it to the sprint final (it was only 16 that qualified to the heats and only four in the final) and finished 4th.

Was Elofsson doping? I've always contended that top skiers and medal contenders were 'likely' all on something. To me, Elofsson was a bit like Jan Ullrich. He jumped in with the pros at a young age, he raced in the Olympics as a 20 year old (did quite well in Nagano) and dominated for three seasons or so. After the 2003 World's in Val Di Fiemme he was more or less done, retiring in 2004. It's a weird one to call, and the Swedes had poor results. But then again, the Russian men weren't as good as their women. They had individuals like Ivanov, Denisov, Vilisov, Krianin, Bolshakov, but like Elofsson, they didn't stick around too long. It was the Norwegians that were up at the top. The Finns, too, were very poor, but they were depleted and embarrassed after 2001 so their poor results were understandable. Sami Repo was the only notable distance skier in 2002 but he was not really at the top. Were the Finns clean that year? The Austrians and Estonians (even without the recent news) were always suspect in those years. Veerpalu and Mae especially.
 
Jan 7, 2019
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I also liked Elofsson, but retrospectively I have learnt to be sceptical about everything, lol.

What concerns the rise of Fredriksson, then I think it's worth noting around that time, after the Salt Lake season, there seemed to be a general change in skiing generations. In the season of 02-03 also Södergren, the Germans, Rotchev and Bauer became major forces. Unsure if the reasons were in any way related to doping or doping testing, but sometimes such generational changes happen.

Finns clean in 2002? Yeah, I could say so*. After the embarrassment, loss of sponsors and everyone's trust. But their results in Salt Lake were rubbish too, accordingly.

* - with one exception. Kaisa Varis. It was a miracle she escaped scot-free in the Lahti scandal. But despite that she went on to get caught multiple times in her career, so I'd say she was never 'clean'.
 
The dominance of Johaug

I would be interesting to hear your take on this. I have dug into the numbers of Johaug’s dominance this season, and have found out she is even more dominant than before the ban. People who thinks the Clostebol found in her body was an accident, will take this as a confirmation that she is clean. We, who are not accepting the official lip balm story, will continue to question a female athlete that is way more dominant than Armstrong, Mühlegg, Myllälä, Marion Jones etc. Since results in XC-skiing is dependent on numerous factors like technique and waxing, I have chosen to compare witth the best. The Norwegian skiers are the cream of the crop and they have same trainers, same waxing team and support. Since everyone can have a bad day (except Johaug), I have chosen to compare her results with the mean time of the second and third Norwegian, which by the way (especially 15/16) often is the same as the second and third on the podium. The numbers are remarkable. The season before she was banned, her victory time was 2.89% better than the mean time of the second and third Norwegian. This season (who has won all distance races she has participated in), she has been on average 2.97% better than the second and third Norwegian, which btw includes the world-cup leader. I did leave Tour de Ski out from the comparison, since Johaug did not participate this year. Looking forward to comments on this.

Season 15/16 (before doping ban) Mean time 2,89% better then second and third Norwegian.
Lahti 160221
1. TJ 38.59 (2339 s)
2. HW 40.05
3. IFÖ 40.31
Mean time 2 and 3: 2418 s
TJ 3,4% better

Falun 160214
1. TJ 23.28 (1408 s)
2.HW 23.36
3. AUJ 23.41
Mean time 2 and 3: 1418 s
TJ 0,7% better

Falun 160213
1. TJ 13.49 (829 s)
2. HW 14.07
3. IFÖ 14.18
Mean time 2 and 3: 852,5 s
TJ 2,8% better

Oslo 160207
1. TJ 1.24.55 (5095 s)
2. IFÖ 1.28.41
4. HW 1.29.36
Mean time 2 and 3: 5348,5 s
TJ 5% better

Nove Mesto 160123
1. TJ 25.09 (1509 s)
2. AUJ 25.13
5. RH 25.38
Mean time 2 and 3: 1525,5 s
TJ 1,1% better

Toblach 151220
1. TJ 27.22 (1642 s)
3. IFÖ 28.02
4. HW 28.07
Mean time 2 and 3: 1684 s
TJ 2,6% better

Davos 151212
1. TJ 35.40 (2140 s)
2. IFÖ 36.50
3. HW 36.55
Mean time 2 and 3: 2212,5 s
TJ 3,4% better

Lillehammer 151205
1. TJ 42.17 (2537 s)
2.HW 43.47
5. MKF 44.13
Mean time 2 and 3: 2640 s
TJ 4,1% better

Season 18/19 Mean time 2,97% better then second and third Norwegian.

Oslo 190312
1. TJ 1.18.54 (4734 s)
4. IFÖ 1.20.44
6. AUJ 1.21.26
Mean time 2 and 3: 4865 s
TJ 2,7% better

Seefeld 190302
1. TJ 1.14.26 (4466 s)
2. IFÖ 1.15.03
10. RH 1.16.51
Mean time 2 and 3: 4557 s
TJ 2.03% better

Seefeld 190226
1. TJ 27.02 (1622 s)
3. IFÖ 27.37
10. AUJ 28.11
Mean time 2 and 3: 1674 s
TJ 3,2% better

Seefeld 190223
1. TJ 36.54 (2214 s)
2. IFÖ 37.52
4. AUJ 37.56
Mean time 2 and 3: 2274 s
TJ 2,7% better

Ulricehamn 190126
1. TJ 25.48 (1548 s)
2. AUJ 26.11
6. IFÖ 26.46
Mean time 2 and 3: 1588,5 s
TJ 2,6% better

Otepää 190120
1. TJ 29.53 (1793 s)
5. IFÖ 31.08
7. AUJ 31.20
Mean time 2 and 3: 1874 s
TJ 4,5% better

Davos 181216
1. TJ 26.06 (1566 s)
2. IFÖ 26.19
11. RH 27,31
Mean time 2 and 3: 1615 s
TJ 3,1% better

Ruka 181125
1. TJ 28.02 (1682 s)
4. IFÖ 28.25
9. AUJ 29.18
Mean time 2 and 3: 1731,5 s
TJ 2,9% better
 
Going back to Biathlon WC. Has anyone noticed how Germans suddenly got faster. For me the outstanding improvement is Peiffer. It was noticeable in all his starts so far capped by gold medal. The German women is another category itself when Herrmann is style of Wilhelm and Neuner from the past suddenly become accurate in last standing shot to grab gold, flying on the tracks as well. This has been the story of decades with German biathlon taken to another level in Olympics or WCH. Anyone else feeling a bit suspicious?
 
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