Doping in XC skiing

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Over the years, the Americans either ski really well as a group or they ski below par as a group, which only further extends my suspicions. Maybe there are those skiers in this field that aren’t doping but you may need to go down the list. But what irks me isn’t even the suspicious results, it’s the hypocrisy. In every sport the Americans seem to be the loudest when talking about doping, but when they themselves are performing above their abilities and beating those that they accuse of doping it’s incredibly hypocritical. And they also don’t have any issues with watching doped to the gills domestic sports such as baseball, basketball and American football. Look at the Rodchenkov act, it won’t touch any of those sports and I highly doubt it will touch any Olympic sanctioned sports (including basketball). So to summarize, I am certain the Americans on something and have been for years now.
Well Americans complaining about doping is hilarious to say the least. Theorie Athleten consulting HGH like smarties.
 
A side questionabout these and some of the late Dec. races: where are the Norwegians? Is the country restricting all travel (due to COVID)?
Politics, the Biathlon athletes and all the other FIS regulated sports still compete in the normal world cup races, just the XC skiing team isn't.
They demanded that the FIS should change the racing calendar (shorting the Tour de Ski, less different strating locations) at the last minute after they had voted against changing it just a few months earlier and when that didn't happen they picked up their ball and went home.
 
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Norwegians want to bully FIS and the entire XC skiing scene. It is nothing new really. Things have escalated due to Corona crisis. This time the Norwegians have overplayed their hand. No one outside of Norway misses them and it shows that the World Cup works without Thema just fine.
 
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When the officers from the Russian Anti-Doping Agency turned up at the Izhevsk Rifle tournament last month, 33 Russian bitahletes immediately withdrew from the competition. 12 girls from the junior women's sprint and 21 boys from the junior men's sprint.

Did anyone actually believe that they'd ever stop?
 
When the officers from the Russian Anti-Doping Agency turned up at the Izhevsk Rifle tournament last month, 33 Russian bitahletes immediately withdrew from the competition. 12 girls from the junior women's sprint and 21 boys from the junior men's sprint.

Did anyone actually believe that they'd ever stop?
They should have just applied for TUE’s, like the Americans do all the time.
 
When the officers from the Russian Anti-Doping Agency turned up at the Izhevsk Rifle tournament last month, 33 Russian bitahletes immediately withdrew from the competition. 12 girls from the junior women's sprint and 21 boys from the junior men's sprint.

Did anyone actually believe that they'd ever stop?
Do you actually believe the others aren't doing the Same?
 
When the officers from the Russian Anti-Doping Agency turned up at the Izhevsk Rifle tournament last month, 33 Russian bitahletes immediately withdrew from the competition. 12 girls from the junior women's sprint and 21 boys from the junior men's sprint.

Did anyone actually believe that they'd ever stop?
Again though, this is the problem of the Russian system. The Russian Cup (Kubok Rossii) is not contested as a developmental league like the Deutschlandpokal or the Coupe de France, but is almost like a legit minor league as a mini-World Cup with the different regions competing against each other in the same manner as the World Cup. It's too siloed, and there is so much involved in the bureaucracy of the different regions for prestige reasons Big internal names are transferred from region to region. The other problem is the Izhevsk races at the Western Christmas break are a long-running tradition in the sport in Russia that are very key to the selection process for January races, because often athletes who have not pre-qualified for the World Cup with their results are sent to Izhevsk to compete against those who were on the domestic calendar, so it's an important shop window and if you're going to target one event in a season as a Russian biathlete outside of the national set-up, these are the events to target because they can get you into the main core directly. Actually if you go through the McLaren documents there are a few domestic calendar nobodies testing positive at the Izhevsk races (Nadezhda Dubova, Veronika Sboeva, and a junior age male biathlete who was not named, none of whom likely have anything at all to do with the centralised doping in the national squad at the time) as well as people who were international names but who had fallen out of favour and used Izhevsk 2013 to get back into consideration ahead of Sochi (Ekaterina Glazyrina and Timofey Lapshin - who managed to avoid any kind of suspension or sanction because he was 'no longer Russian' before Pyeongchang, and is still performing on the World Cup without trouble ever since, in fact).

I posted a while back about the fuss that the Russian team created last season because the internal coaches had whittled down the athletes they wanted to approximately 20 in each gender they wanted to contest the test races to see who would go to the international track, from those who'd been training with the international coaches all summer, and various regional heads started raising a stink and threatening action if their athletes weren't allowed to compete for a spot - because they largely target those events to try to get their athletes into the national team to raise their status, because it looks good on them to get athletes to the top, and then the international coaches can take the heat for bad results when an athlete who was peaking for irrelevant test races can't compete with Johannes Thingnes Bø or Dorothea Wierer when their form is dropping away.

I think that although there has been some resistance, there is a genuine attempt by the SBR to try to comply with what they need to do to get full IBU membership and hosting rights back, even if it seems in all honesty to be just about the same old bureaucrats trying to jump through the necessary hoops rather than effecting a genuine change; that has necessitated things like a greater deal of ring-fencing the international squad so they have proper biopassport data etc., and also greater enforcement of testing at the national level, especially at key events like the Izhevsk week and the season's-end national championships (again, in the McLaren docs there are some nobodies testing positive there) and control over athletes that are in the mix for international selection (it's worth noting that a few national calendar journeymen - and Margarita Vasileva who made it to 27 (albeit including a baby break) before reaching the World Cup - have fallen foul of whereabouts violations recently, suggesting tighter control being imposed back home). And wouldn't we rather they be busting these athletes back at home, before they make it to the international level?

This fits in with a narrative I've mentioned before. One of the most striking omissions from the McLaren docs is Ekaterina Iourieva. She's not there. Yet she raced for Russia internationally - at the World Cup even - in 2013-14, and even tested positive in the process. I have said all along, I honestly believe she had nothing to do with the institutionalised doping that year; she was somebody who was on the edges of the team, saw this as her last chance, had already been busted once, and was prepared to do what it took. So the fact she's not in the docs suggests whatever it was she was doing (EPO, as it turned out), the national team coaches weren't involving her in their preparations. I've said before that the biggest problem the Russians have now is that even if they wipe out the corruption in the national team itself, the problem is they have to dismantle the bureaucracy of the regional system and the rigid selection race-based team composition criteria imposed by the bureaucrats in order to really stop doping. Otherwise, they have to rely on busting people at the regional level to avoid the competing regional heads' private wars forcing the hands of the selectors, demoting actually talented athletes working with coaches who, clean or otherwise, are working within strict parameters to help the team rehab its status, in favour of giving the central coaches a bunch of Danilo Celanos who can compete with the best at home but somehow disappear into mediocrity when forced to compete under the biopassport.
 
Diggins skiing only 9 seconds slower than the top climber left in the tour. This after losing almost two minutes to Johaug last year and a little over a minute to Nepryaeva. Sorry, but I don’t trust her being clean. She may be in form, but that sort of improvement and with that technique, it’s not normal.
 
The domestic races in Russia are known to be total wild west stuff, nothing new.
Bolshunov flying past Manificat on the last few meters is also a bit questionable. Yes, the climb became easier once they made it a mass start, but the guy always suffered like a dog on the ascent and now he's on the podium on the climb for the 2nd year in a row.
 
The domestic races in Russia are known to be total wild west stuff, nothing new.
Bolshunov flying past Manificat on the last few meters is also a bit questionable. Yes, the climb became easier once they made it a mass start, but the guy always suffered like a dog on the ascent and now he's on the podium on the climb for the 2nd year in a row.
Of course, plus he’s heavier than most of the other contenders. Manificat was nowhere near this form last season or the season before, now he’s back and at 34, 35 years of age.
 
Building up for the World Championships. The Americans usually overperform in championships, even if sometimes they get a huge dollop of good fortune on the way (Caitlin Gregg says hi). Kikkan Randall's medal in Lahti after doing nothing all season and then the Team Sprint win in Pyeongchang spring to mind immediately.
 
Building up for the World Championships. The Americans usually overperform in championships, even if sometimes they get a huge dollop of good fortune on the way (Caitlin Gregg says hi). Kikkan Randall's medal in Lahti after doing nothing all season and then the Team Sprint win in Pyeongchang spring to mind immediately.
Oh definitely. Those two World Championships, at least two of the medals were sheer luck, Gregg’s third place in Falun and Randall’s third in Lahti. First one due to a sudden change in weather for the later starters and Randall’s due to a terrible jury decision to relegate Van Der Graaff during the quarterfinal, when she was penalized for ‘obstructing’ Randall. Randall moved to the 2nd lucky loser spot. Then in the semis Nilsson went full kamikaze and took out Matveeva on the final turn before the finish. Caldwell and Randall moved up as a result. The team sprint you could argue was also fortunate for the Americans, the Swedes and Finns fell near the top of the hill in the final and it enabled the Americans to stay close.

There was no fortune in Korea, just very suspicious skiing from Randall and even Diggins.
 
Yeah, nothing like the fear I have every time I click on a sports website once any Austrian endurance athlete does anything of note. It's truly wonderful to be an Austrian sports fan.
Biathlon seems to get a lot more love and respect from the ÖSV than the XC skiers, so at least there's that.
I don't want to hate on Lisa, but her skiing speed improving so much over the off season is a bit of a question mark.
She was always one that had to rely on her shooting to get a top 10 result and now here skiing speed is up there.
 
Different perspective (while of course I do not go to the stake for anyone in endurance sports):

Hauser is four times JWC medallist, won three medals at the ECH at age 19 (beating Dahlmaier, Preuss, Chevalier, ...), got her first top 10 in the WC with 20, finished 15th in the overall standing at 21. So obviously quite some talent is there. Thats why I also followed her more closely over the years. And that brings me to my next point: her closest peer is probably Franziska Preuss. Rather similar career progression (small advantages for Preuss), similar profile (ski speed and shooting), similar age. And not too much has changed this year. Yesterday the difference in skiing time between Hauser and Preuss was 1s. They both were off 45s of the Norwegians, having the 7th and 8th best time. Building on that, I have also the feeling that the level in skiing came down a bit. Makkarainen gone, Hermann awful. This makes it more likely that athletes like Hauser, Preuss, Chevalier stay in the range of 30s-60s to the best.

Nevertheless, its obvious that there was an improvement in skiing for Hauser this season. She herself explains it by the fact that she entered the men's training group 2 years ago. Last year was one of her worst in terms of skiing, however. But she then again argues that she really struggled with the much more intense training and her body had to take some time to adapt. Noteworthy - men and women are not in the same group this season anymore. Last but not least, she is 26/27 this season, which is generally considered to be a very good age for endurance athletes.

Again, personally I cannot say if she is doping or not but I already saw way more suspect transformations in sports.
 
I guess it's just that in the year when everyone said we have to look out for athletes suddenly improving over the offseason due to a lack of testing, an athlete from a country with one of the worst doping records, does exactly that.

I'm probably among the people here hoping most that Hauser is clean since she is currently doing wonders to the perception of Biathlon in Austria, it's just that I've lived through the same bullsh*t way too many times in my life to remain optimistic.
 

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