Doping in XC skiing

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If Marit Bjørgen is indeed a steroid user and she herself is the only source for the 2017 incident, and her account is false, why in the first place to bring up the fact that she had steroids in her system in 2017?

I recall some people here speculating that Eddy Merckx didn't really refuse the blood transfusion way back in 1972 when he was offered one instead of hypoxic training for his one hour attempt, because transfusion is a better method to increase one's Hct. Again, the only source for the offer was "The Cannibal" himself, so why just not to keep mouth shut if he chose the needle.
Well, clearly FIS new about this, and accepted her explanation. Of course they are not going to make it public. For one they only made Sundby’s four positive tests public 16 months after he was popped. They didn’t want anymore bad publicity after Johaug was caught in September 2016 and later suspended. Clearly the Norwegians are very good at finding loopholes and coming up with bogus explanations.

Bjørgen’s results, the transformation from a pure sprinter to all rounder, to her re-transformation post 2009, to her Symbicort use, to her physique, to dominating until 38, to this, there are a lot of red flags.
 
Well, clearly FIS new about this, and accepted her explanation. Of course they are not going to make it public. For one they only made Sundby’s four positive tests public 16 months after he was popped. They didn’t want anymore bad publicity after Johaug was caught in September 2016 and later suspended. Clearly the Norwegians are very good at finding loopholes and coming up with bogus explanations.

Bjørgen’s results, the transformation from a pure sprinter to all rounder, to her re-transformation post 2009, to her Symbicort use, to her physique, to dominating until 38, to this, there are a lot of red flags.
I am not defending Norwegians more generally, the optics of 2016-17 alone do not look good.

Still I can't quite figure out why a steroid user, whose physique alone has caused speculations, would out herself having had steroids in her system in a doping control if her account (about that incident) wasn't true.
 
I am not defending Norwegians more generally, the optics of 2016-17 alone do not look good.

Still I can't quite figure out why a steroid user, whose physique alone has caused speculations, would out herself having had steroids in her system in a doping control if her account (about that incident) wasn't true.
Who knows. Andre Agassi did more or less the same thing in his 2009 book “Open,” which he indirectly says the ATP gave him a silent ban for using crystal meth. It comes after her career is over, almost 4 years after, so maybe thinking people don’t care or that she sees nothing wrong with it, at least not now.
 
If Marit Bjørgen is indeed a steroid user and she herself is the only source for the 2017 incident, and her account is false, why in the first place to bring up the fact that she had steroids in her system in 2017?
There is a very easy answer to that. By doing this she attempts do defuse something that would have sooner or later reached the media.
 
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There is a very easy answer to that. By doing this she attempts do defuse something that would have sooner or later reached the media.
Four years and eight months have passed of the incident, and not a word in the press, so the time of reaching media would've been more later (if ever) than sooner.

The timing doesn't make full sense also because the statute of limitation was eight years in 2017, so she isn't even out of reach for possible sanctions until 2025 if there is some pressure to further inquire her case if FIS handling of the case/her story is considered dubious.

It is interesting that while many sports writers in the Finnish media aren't reluctant at all to get excited about every single (anti-)Norwegian doping claim ("Blodracet-2013", Johaug, Sundby etc.), the issue is barely mentioned in the press. Yes, some comments by XC-skier Sergei Kryanin about favourable treatment were quoted, but that is almost it.

I am not defending Norwegians, and IIRC, even Dr. Jim Stray-Gundersen (of Norwegian origin) didn't defend the Norwegians when he reviewed their HB-data in 2018 for the Swedish media. There are even Norwegian sources, who seriously thought they used transfusions already way back in the 1980s.
 
So, a brief summary.
In the last race (30k) of the Worlds where Marit Bjorgen grabs four golds and within the same eight months period where the two other top names in XC-SKIING - Johaug and Johnsrud Sundby - are caught in doping tests; Bjorgens doping test shows 19-norandrosteron metabolites. A residue after Nandrolone use, the anabolic stereoid of Linford Christie and Merlene Ottey doping cases.
 
Four years and eight months have passed of the incident, and not a word in the press, so the time of reaching media would've been more later (if ever) than sooner.

The timing doesn't make full sense also because the statute of limitation was eight years in 2017, so she isn't even out of reach for possible sanctions until 2025 if there is some pressure to further inquire her case if FIS handling of the case/her story is considered dubious.

It is interesting that while many sports writers in the Finnish media aren't reluctant at all to get excited about every single (anti-)Norwegian doping claim ("Blodracet-2013", Johaug, Sundby etc.), the issue is barely mentioned in the press. Yes, some comments by XC-skier Sergei Kryanin about favourable treatment were quoted, but that is almost it.

I am not defending Norwegians, and IIRC, even Dr. Jim Stray-Gundersen (of Norwegian origin) didn't defend the Norwegians when he reviewed their HB-data in 2018 for the Swedish media. There are even Norwegian sources, who seriously thought they used transfusions already way back in the 1980s.
I mean the Italians and the whole generation abou De Zolt did that, so why not?
The one thing that would surprise me is Marit actually using such an old school compound as Nandrolone that is rather easy to detect and can be detected up to 60 days.
 
I mean the Italians and the whole generation abou De Zolt did that, so why not?
A few plausible reasons not to blood dope:

  • ethical/legal reasons.
  • no access to high technology blood doping equipment such as high glycerol freezer.
  • belief that high altitude training equals roughly blood doping in benefit. Norwegian physiologists such as Kjell Eystein Røkke and Frank Ingjer conducted extensive high-altitude research in the 1980s.
At the end of the day, it is borderline impossible to know which teams doped and which didn't.
 
Bjorgens doping test shows 19-norandrosteron metabolites. A residue after Nandrolone use, the anabolic stereoid of Linford Christie and Merlene Ottey doping cases.
Bjørgen won a total of five medals at the 2017 Championships, therefore a detectable amount of the metabolite appeared in her sample after a few clean doping tests preceding the March 4th race.

Therefore it isn't clear when did she actually consume the nandrolone, a small amount shortly before the last race of the Championships? (I don't know what is the time gap in nandrolone transforming into its metabolite).

The amount of some steroids do fluctuate in body after subcutaneous injection, but only an idiot takes steroid shots into the muscle in the OOC-testing era.

One would think "echo positive" risks associated with reinfusing tainted blood should also be pretty much known and avoided by 2017. It is another matter if the "echo positives" are even more legend than reality.
 
Bjørgen won a total of five medals at the 2017 Championships, therefore a detectable amount of the metabolite appeared in her sample after a few clean doping tests preceding the March 4th race.

Therefore it isn't clear when did she actually consume the nandrolone, a small amount shortly before the last race of the Championships? (I don't know what is the time gap in nandrolone transforming into its metabolite).
Dehydration is a much bigger factor in the long last 30k race than in the shorter initial races. A plausible explanation why the earlier tests didn't come up positive.
 
Dehydration is a much bigger factor in the long last 30k race than in the shorter initial races. A plausible explanation why the earlier tests didn't come up positive.
Dehydration can be one of the causes of a high hemoglobin. Not saying that's the case here, because there was no mention of high hemoglobin, but just something that cross country skiers have had to deal with.
 
Dehydration can be one of the causes of a high hemoglobin. Not saying that's the case here, because there was no mention of high hemoglobin, but just something that cross country skiers have had to deal with.
I was only quoting the team doctors explanation:
From Aftenposten: "Legen trodde det kunne ha med dehydrering å gjøre – at konsentrasjonen av stoffet i urinen var størst etter den lengste distansen"
 
I was only quoting the team doctors explanation:
From Aftenposten: "Legen trodde det kunne ha med dehydrering å gjøre – at konsentrasjonen av stoffet i urinen var størst etter den lengste distansen"
The explanation by the doctor most likely relates only to the question why the amount was high in only one sample if she took the pills (by her own admission) through the 2017 Championships, even shortly before the games.

Taking the intentional doping-idea as given and presuming that she took an intravenous injection (in-the-vein)/steroid cream during her preparation for the games, it should be pointed out that the 30 km race took place eight days after the first race she won, therefore the sheer amount of steroids in her system should've been far lower on March 4th vs. February 25th counteracting the dehydration. The dehydration increase vs. the half-life of the substance.
 
The explanation by the doctor most likely relates only to the question why the amount was high in only one sample if she took the pills (by her own admission) through the 2017 Championships, even shortly before the games.

Taking the intentional doping-idea as given and presuming that she took an intravenous injection (in-the-vein)/steroid cream during her preparation for the games, it should be pointed out that the 30 km race took place eight days after the first race she won, therefore the sheer amount of steroids in her system should've been far lower on March 4th vs. February 25th counteracting the dehydration. The dehydration increase vs. the half-life of the substance.
No need to build up a straw man argument about intravenous injection between the World races. The only thing we know is that Bjorgen had traces of the same metabolites you get after nandrolone use. The explanation from Bjorgen and the team doctor (which took two days to write) was the use of Primulat-N which contains 19-noretisteron. They claimed that it was not known that the use could result in positive doping tests. In Sweden that has been widely known since at least 2010 when the Swedish Sports Confederation warned female athletes to use pills containing 19-noretisteron. Declaring the use of Primulat-N pill is therefore a perfect scape goat if traces of Nandrolone use from the training build up would be found. Remember that Bjorgen was suspended most of the season from competing in her come back last year, due to failing to report to WADA that she was back in business.
 
No need to build up a straw man argument about intravenous injection between the World races. The only thing we know is that Bjorgen had traces of the same metabolites you get after nandrolone use. The explanation from Bjorgen and the team doctor (which took two days to write) was the use of Primulat-N which contains 19-noretisteron. They claimed that it was not known that the use could result in positive doping tests. In Sweden that has been widely known since at least 2010 when the Swedish Sports Confederation warned female athletes to use pills containing 19-noretisteron. Declaring the use of Primulat-N pill is therefore a perfect scape goat if traces of Nandrolone use from the training build up would be found. Remember that Bjorgen was suspended most of the season from competing in her come back last year, due to failing to report to WADA that she was back in business.
There is no strawman, just the down-to-earth question about when she actually took the steroid if trace amounts of the metabolite apparently emerged into her body in the course of the 2017 Games?

Again, whatever really suspicious there is in her story ("they should've known!"/"the explanation took too much time!"), the case was brought up voluntarily my Marit Björgen in the first place. Because she is under the statute of limitations and because particularly the Russians (e.g. Yelena Välbe) are bitching and whining now about her preferential treatment, it would be sheer stupidity to bring up the incident if the doping use was intentional.

And again, just from her progression and capability to triumph at almost the age of 40, she is on general level suspicious as hell, but that is not the question here.
 
... the case was brought up voluntarily my Marit Björgen in the first place.

....it would be sheer stupidity to bring up the incident if the doping use was intentional.
You and I don't know why she brought it up in her book. Had the story reached a Norwegian journalist, that promised to hold the story until the book release in exchange of exlusive interviews? There is several plausible explantions, side by side with sheer stupidity.
 
No need to build up a straw man argument about intravenous injection between the World races. The only thing we know is that Bjorgen had traces of the same metabolites you get after nandrolone use. The explanation from Bjorgen and the team doctor (which took two days to write) was the use of Primulat-N which contains 19-noretisteron. They claimed that it was not known that the use could result in positive doping tests. In Sweden that has been widely known since at least 2010 when the Swedish Sports Confederation warned female athletes to use pills containing 19-noretisteron. Declaring the use of Primulat-N pill is therefore a perfect scape goat if traces of Nandrolone use from the training build up would be found. Remember that Bjorgen was suspended most of the season from competing in her come back last year, due to failing to report to WADA that she was back in business.
Do they have “authentic” Mexican food trucks in Norway? Cause maybe it was another case of steroid-tainted boar-meat burrito? :);)

 
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Declaring the use of Primulat-N pill is therefore a perfect scape goat if traces of Nandrolone use from the training build up would be found.
One item I am missing completely is your "guilty doping timeline" of events. What actually is your scenario of her doping use in which no traces of nandrolone metabolites were found in late February but were found 8 days later?
 
Something like... Roughly when and how did she took nandrolone if the substance emerged into her body in the course of the 2017 Championships if the doping use was intentional?
For me its enough to put out a questionmark surrounding the fact that Bjorgen had the same metabolites as after anobolic doping in her blood after her fourth gold in the Worlds 2017.
Her team doctor pointed out one theory, namely dehydration trying to explain why the alleged use of Primulat-N pill only showed after one test (a pill that hat the Swedish Sports Confederation has warned female athlets to as early as at least 2010). The half life of nandrolone is 7-12 days.
Another plausible explanation is microdosing as described in this article: https://www.businessinsider.com/doping-cheating-winter-olympics-microdosing-testosterone-steroids-2018-2?r=US&IR=T
 
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For me its enough to put out a questionmark surrounding the fact that Bjorgen had the same metabolites as after anobolic doping in her blood after her fourth gold in the Worlds 2017.
Her team doctor pointed out one theory, namely dehydration trying to explain why the alleged use of Primulat-N pill only showed after one test (a pill that hat the Swedish Sports Confederation has warned female athlets to as early as at least 2010). The half life of nandrolone is 7-12 days.
Another plausible explanation is microdosing as described in this article: https://www.businessinsider.com/doping-cheating-winter-olympics-microdosing-testosterone-steroids-2018-2?r=US&IR=T
While the article uses the word "steroid" quite regularly, it is about how a microdose of synthetic testosterone could have such a miniscule effect on the T/E-ratio that the sample would be deemed negative.

Nothing to do with whether a microdose of foreign molecule such as nandrolone would be detected after a race, a case in which just a miniscule presence would be deemed a positive.

If the positive is caused by trace amounts of steroids taken before the 2017 Games still in her body, even you seem to acknowledge that she had c:a 50 % less steroids in her system in the last positive test vs. the first negative test (based on the half-life of nandrolone). That is a lot of dehydration to overcome.

From her apparently voluntarily revealing the incident and from the fragmentary (and perhaps self-servingly released) material thus far made available, I've seen nothing contradicting her account, absolutely nothing.

And yes, the material is consistent with intentional doping use such as trace amounts of steroids in reinfused blood or even with tainted natural supplements containing nandrolone (sanctions due to strict liability - principle).
 
While the article uses the word "steroid" quite regularly, it is about how a microdose of synthetic testosterone could have such a miniscule effect on the T/E-ratio that the sample would be deemed negative.

Nothing to do with whether a microdose of foreign molecule such as nandrolone would be detected after a race, a case in which just a miniscule presence would be deemed a positive.
Many wrongs in your post. Nandrolone is to be found natural in humans. Nandrolone is a testosterone derivative.
From the article: "Most performance-enhancing steroids are lab-produced variations on the male sex hormone testosterone. Testosterone-derived steroids are relatively inexpensive to buy"
The article speaks about microdosing testosterone derivatives, such as Nandrolone. Read it again.
When microdosing Nandrolone between races, such as described in the article, if caught, Primulat-N would apparently work as a scape goat.
 

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