Doping in XC skiing

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RdBiker said:
Btw, I know a good ski can make or break a skiing race but I've never read about any tests on how much time a better ski can win you. Have you ever come across a test done on skis?
There are done lots of testing, and it's obvious that the difference between a poorly prepared ski and a good one is several minutes, particularly in classic skiing, where you basically cannot get up a hill using the normal technique if your skis are bad. This occasionally to pretty much anyone and when it happens there's no way you can win or even get a decent placing. More common however is that you can see a difference in speed when descending, which sometimes can be quite huge. In the 90's and in the early 2000's you could easily see that the Norwegians were mostly gliding past everyone easily on the descents, which shows that they had the best skis.

Nowadays we're not so far ahead anymore, and particularly in the olympics this year the ski preperation was pretty much awful and Northug probably lost 1-2 gold medals because of it.
 
maltiv said:
...I think it's plausible that Bjørn Dæhlie was clean.
There's truth to what you say about skis, wax, etc during Dæhlie's time, but just on pure speculation I think it's a bit much to presume he was 100% clean during that era. Some compare him to Armstrong, I prefer to compare him to Indurain, or Jalabert perhaps. Not likely clean, but also not likely jacked to his eyeballs. And had there been a completely clean sport he likely would have won about the same amount anyway. Something I can't say about Armstrong. Plus as others noted, a much friendlier person (akin to Mig and JaJa).

maltiv said:
You realize there can be a difference in amounts of doping too, right? Mühlegg was probably doped up to the maximum on every single substance available.
This statement made me both chuckle, and groan. It's such a sadly amusing picture of someone "doped to the maximum on every single substance available." And at the same time, considering this is quite possibly the most doped up performance in sports history, it just might be plausible. :(
 
Jul 5, 2010
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maltiv said:
...Northug probably lost 1-2 gold medals because of it.
Yeah... and Hushovd is the best climber in the peloton to the norwegian TV-viewers, EBH in yellow next year if he is not busy beating Cancellara on a TT that matters ;)

There is nothing about norwegian sports fans that can surprise me anymore. Super-Dario!
 
Jun 21, 2009
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Tyler'sTwin said:
On the other hand, XC skiers are expected to have higher VO2's than cyclists because they use more muscle groups. I'm not sure Daehlie's results are more impressive than LeMond's, even though he took the test in the summer... and that's another thing. How jacked up on EPO could he have been in the off-season? Doping cyclists would often have normal or close to normal crits in the winter, would they not? Where's that "state run italian doping" graph when you need it?
higher than cyclists, yeah i agree, that's to be expected, but he is number one in xc skiing. far ahead of any other results i've heard of. alsgaard for instance, a lousy number in the lower half of the 80's vs daehlie's 96!

and yes that top score came about during the off-season from what i know, which at the time was said to be proof that he didn't dope as there would be no use of doping when there was no races coming up for a while. which of course is nonsense.

i do have two mates who bumped into ulvang and daehlie on a doping seminar (as in how-to-dope seminar) in italy in the mid 90's
 
Jul 5, 2010
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One thing that I would really, really find out is: what's up with Espen Harald Bjerke?
He is said to have 96 in VO2-max, second highest ever!

"The test was however a small step backwards for Espen Harald Bjerke. He was tested at 96 milliliter this spring, a result that tied Bjorn Daehlie's best ever result. Later this summer he was tested at 86 and his recent test was 91, which was the second highest test result. "
http://166.70.245.87/training2589.html

And Espen hasn't won squat, before or after.

Is the norwegian machines sucky beyond belief? Or Is it indicative of doping? If not why hasn't Bjerke won scores and scores of medals? Can VO2-max really fluctuate this much? Was "96" a fluke?

Björndalen (nearest Mühlegg i Salt Lake City, worlds most winning winter, male, athlete) "only" got 86 (anyone know if he has done better since?)..

I don't know, does it smell fishy?
 
meandmygitane said:
Yeah... and Hushovd is the best climber in the peloton to the norwegian TV-viewers, EBH in yellow next year if he is not busy beating Cancellara on a TT that matters ;)

There is nothing about norwegian sports fans that can surprise me anymore. Super-Dario!
He definitely lost a gold medal because of skis on the team relay (or whatever it's called). Not because of his skis, but because of Hjelmesets skis which were horrible as you can easily see yourself.
 
workingclasshero said:
higher than cyclists, yeah i agree, that's to be expected, but he is number one in xc skiing. far ahead of any other results i've heard of. alsgaard for instance, a lousy number in the lower half of the 80's vs daehlie's 96!

and yes that top score came about during the off-season from what i know, which at the time was said to be proof that he didn't dope as there would be no use of doping when there was no races coming up for a while. which of course is nonsense.

i do have two mates who bumped into ulvang and daehlie on a doping seminar (as in how-to-dope seminar) in italy in the mid 90's
I've heard about that before, but is there any way to confirm this? I've become pretty sure that they did dope, or at least it would be surprising if they weren't, considering the era. But apart from internet rumours, I've never seen anything concrete against them.

And by the way, how about Gunde Svan? In the first golden age of transfusions, he was almost unbeatable. I feel a bit sad reasoning like this, but following cycling makes you cynical, I guess. Could be just his legendary willpower and "attention do detail", I suppose. And Dæhlie's success might be down to his talent and his willingness to push himself beyond the limit. But I'm not convinced.
 
workingclasshero said:
i do have two mates who bumped into ulvang and daehlie on a doping seminar (as in how-to-dope seminar) in italy in the mid 90's
How reliable are those friends? Cause that sounds very unlikely to me, unless they basically wanted to get caught. That's like going to a public "How to rob a bank" seminar :p
 
Jul 5, 2010
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maltiv said:
He definitely lost a gold medal because of skis on the team relay (or whatever it's called). Not because of his skis, but because of Hjelmesets skis which were horrible as you can easily see yourself.
Yeah, so he supposedly got ice in the hairs of the kickzone - why? Because it was snowing. Johan Olsson still skied from Germany, the Czech and France beside Hjelmeset. All of those had bad skis? Don't think so really. Was Hjelmesets ski the only reason he fell behind? Don't think so either.

So Martin Jonsrud Sundby was able to hang on to Daniel Rickardsson and others assault - why? Because it snowed.
Lars Berger still lost time on his leg. A biathlete...

Norway would still have lost. Snowfall or no snowfall. They simply weren't the best team that day.
 
Jul 5, 2010
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zapata said:
I've heard about that before, but is there any way to confirm this? I've become pretty sure that they did dope, or at least it would be surprising if they weren't, considering the era. But apart from internet rumours, I've never seen anything concrete against them.

And by the way, how about Gunde Svan? In the first golden age of transfusions, he was almost unbeatable. I feel a bit sad reasoning like this, but following cycling makes you cynical, I guess. Could be just his legendary willpower and "attention do detail", I suppose. And Dæhlie's success might be down to his talent and his willingness to push himself beyond the limit. But I'm not convinced.
It's a bit different between transfusions and EPO.
Arguably you could win TdF clean during the transfusion-era (LeMond and Hinault?) but during the EPO-era? Don't think so. Does the same apply to XC-skiing?

For the present I "feel" that LeMond, Hinault, Svan were the last SURELY "clean" athletes. From 1991-1998 you can't basically trust anyone because doping was free for all. And today? Better than yesterday but not good.
 
Jun 23, 2009
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Fun to read about XC-skiing on Cyclingnews, but it is very easy so see that many of you really don't know the sport at all. How many of you have even tried XC-skiing, and tested professional waxed skis, and the difference between perfect skis and average skis?

1. The skis are extremely important! The Norwegians discovered stone grinded skis in 1989, on a training camp in West Yellowstone. They did a test race and the ones who used stone grinded skis, were 2 minutes faster than the ones without. I think it was a 15km.
Norway managed to keep this secret until 1993, but even tough the rest got to know about it they didn't have the expertise the Norwegians had build up. And they managed to keep this advantage for almost the rest of the 90's.

You can see the result of this during the 1991 world championship in Val di Fiemme. The Norwegians had much betters skis than the rest. It was very easy to see on the relay where Norway was leading with 43seconds after the 1.leg by Skaanes on 10km.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDQvvGPkGhw&feature=related

It was the same during the Olympics in 1992. Dæhlie said he felt sorry for Mogren when he past him during one of the races. They had skis from the same factory, but Mogren had no stone grind, and his skis were useless compared to Dæhlie.

The same thing happened a lot of times during the 90's. Especially on difficult klister conditions, the Norwegians had an extreme advantage. Even in 2000 this was still the case.

In the 2000 world cup race at Beitostolen, the Norwegians had 10athletes among the 12 best. The best foreigner was 8!
The same thing happened in Kupio in 2001, where Elofsson was the best foreigner as number 9!

Good skis compared to less good skis are often between 45sec-3minutes on a 15km.

2. One Vo2 test can't be taken too serious. Espen Harald Bjerke, an average Norwegian skier, tested 94. But that year everybody tested high numbers on that machine, which they after some time found out were calibrated wrong.
That being said, XC-skiers tend to test higher Vo2 than runners and cyclists since they also use arms when training. You can find about 30 Norwegian skiers today that will test over 80 in Vo2.

3. Listening to what Kyro says is crazy. Of course he defend himself by saying that everybody use doping. If you read all the facts, there is no indication, no proves, that Norwegian or Swedish skiers used doping. And since skis and technique are so important, clean athletes can beat dopers. One example is Per Elofsson in the world championship in Lahti in 2001. Another is Thomas Alsgaard in the 1994 Olympics. On the 30km skate, Alsgaard had much better skis than the rest, and much better technique.

But even if Norwegian skiers didn't dope in the 90's, they used everything that was allowed, such as asthma medicine and artificial altitude training.

However Norway is among the few countries that have now forbidden the use of altitude training in tents or houses.

A lot can be said about this topic, but I can guarantee that no systematic doping exists in the Norwegian or Swedish national teams now. Petter Northug doesn't even use asthma medicine.

XC skiing is now a pretty clean sport, with a few exceptions. The history has been pretty dirty, but it must be remembered that there is not a lot of money involved in skiing. In Norway for example you make more money working at McDonald's than being on the national team, except for Northug and Bjørgen and a few more.
But in Russia, the situation is very different.

http://blogs.fasterskier.com/worldcup/2010/10/30/return-of-russian-dopers-spurs-debate-in-norway/

Technique and ski equipment can't be compared to cycling technique and equipment. The difference is much, much bigger.
 
San Carlo said:
Fun to read about XC-skiing on Cyclingnews, but it is very easy so see that many of you really don't know the sport at all. How many of you have even tried XC-skiing, and tested professional waxed skis, and the difference between perfect skis and average skis?

1. The skis are extremely important! The Norwegians discovered stone grinded skis in 1989, on a training camp in West Yellowstone. They did a test race and the ones who used stone grinded skis, were 2 minutes faster than the ones without. I think it was a 15km.
Norway managed to keep this secret until 1993, but even tough the rest got to know about it they didn't have the expertise the Norwegians had build up. And they managed to keep this advantage for almost the rest of the 90's.

You can see the result of this during the 1991 world championship in Val di Fiemme. The Norwegians had much betters skis than the rest. It was very easy to see on the relay where Norway was leading with 43seconds after the 1.leg by Skaanes on 10km.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDQvvGPkGhw&feature=related

It was the same during the Olympics in 1992. Dæhlie said he felt sorry for Mogren when he past him during one of the races. They had skis from the same factory, but Mogren had no stone grind, and his skis were useless compared to Dæhlie.

The same thing happened a lot of times during the 90's. Especially on difficult klister conditions, the Norwegians had an extreme advantage. Even in 2000 this was still the case.

In the 2000 world cup race at Beitostolen, the Norwegians had 10athletes among the 12 best. The best foreigner was 8!
The same thing happened in Kupio in 2001, where Elofsson was the best foreigner as number 9!

Good skis compared to less good skis are often between 45sec-3minutes on a 15km.

2. One Vo2 test can't be taken too serious. Espen Harald Bjerke, an average Norwegian skier, tested 94. But that year everybody tested high numbers on that machine, which they after some time found out were calibrated wrong.
That being said, XC-skiers tend to test higher Vo2 than runners and cyclists since they also use arms when training. You can find about 30 Norwegian skiers today that will test over 80 in Vo2.

3. Listening to what Kyro says is crazy. Of course he defend himself by saying that everybody use doping. If you read all the facts, there is no indication, no proves, that Norwegian or Swedish skiers used doping. And since skis and technique are so important, clean athletes can beat dopers. One example is Per Elofsson in the world championship in Lahti in 2001. Another is Thomas Alsgaard in the 1994 Olympics. On the 30km skate, Alsgaard had much better skis than the rest, and much better technique.

But even if Norwegian skiers didn't dope in the 90's, they used everything that was allowed, such as asthma medicine and artificial altitude training.

However Norway is among the few countries that have now forbidden the use of altitude training in tents or houses.

A lot can be said about this topic, but I can guarantee that no systematic doping exists in the Norwegian or Swedish national teams now. Petter Northug doesn't even use asthma medicine.

XC skiing is now a pretty clean sport, with a few exceptions. The history has been pretty dirty, but it must be remembered that there is not a lot of money involved in skiing. In Norway for example you make more money working at McDonald's than being on the national team, except for Northug and Bjørgen and a few more.
But in Russia, the situation is very different.

http://blogs.fasterskier.com/worldcup/2010/10/30/return-of-russian-dopers-spurs-debate-in-norway/

Technique and ski equipment can't be compared to cycling technique and equipment. The difference is much, much bigger.

Yeah, the Russian culture is very different. Not necessarily because of doping history (heck, a lot of good programs and individuals have been on some sort of doping), but because their sports are more or less run like a business. If you go to http://www.skisport.ru (their equivelent of fasterskier.com) you'll see no the right hand side that the Russian billionaire, Mikhail Prokhorov who is now the owner of the NBA team the New Jersey Nets, has offered to pay for the 3 biathletes that were suspended 2 years ago at the world champs in Korea. Politics play a major role there, and there is more xc skiers and racers in Russia than anywhere else, I am almost certain of that. Their sports federation seems to be about as corrupt as the government. It's gonna take some time for them to actually clean up everything, although I would love to think that they were all clean at the Olympics. As far as the Norwegians, again, I don't want to speculate on things I don't know about, but I really wouldn't be surprised to find out that some of them dope, asthma medicine or not. It's just that we've become accustomed to sort of bowing down to them and revering them like gods and sort of saying well they can't be doing anything, they are angels! Obviously I would love for everyone to be clean and would hate to be suspicious of an individual or a whole team, but....Let's hope for cleaner sports!!!
 
May 23, 2010
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Tyler'sTwin said:
Oh, come on! Skiers had been on EPO for at least 10 years and Mühlegg had been suspected of EPO before. He was not the only EPO-doper in Salt Lake, nor was it the first time he took EPO. Your explanation for Mühlegg's ludicrous dominance over his rivals is totally implausible.
Remember that the first EPO test came out for the Sydney summer Olympics in 2000. There were several athletes caught for EPO in 2001 in various sports. The Lahti cross-country World Championships doping scandal in 2001 scared off many national ski teams from EPO and related masking agents (the Finns were caught for a plasma expander HEMOHES).

The recent Landis revelations also suggests that cyclists switched from EPO back to autologous blood doping at the 2001 Tour de France - Landis claimed Armstrong was caught for EPO at the 2001 Tour de Suisse, and would have not made the same mistake again, after paying off UCI with a generous "donation". Micro-dosing of EPO is a more recent phenomenon.

Muehlegg, Lazutina and Danilova tested positive for Darbepoetin, a synthetic variant of EPO. This drug was brand new, developed by Amgen and approved by FDA in September 2001. The athletes believed, incorrectly, that there was no test for this drug yet at the 2002 Olympics.

It is against this background that I am speculating there were probably few EPO users at the 2002 winter games. Plenty of blood dopers, yes, but using the traditional transfusion method. I did hear that IOC sent only 16 samples to be tested for Darbepoetin - and came back with 3 positives, so there's that possibility that others used it and got lucky (Ivanoff of Russia, winner of 50km classic is one such possibility).

But if you look at the results for the various races, there are only a few similar "superhuman" performances that smell doping-assisted. So it's possible that only Muehlegg and the Russians were on Darbepoetin and the Austrians, Italians and Estonians were on supplemental blood. The rest quite possibly raced clean.

http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.html?event_id=8481&cal_suchsector=CC
 
Speaking of Northug, how come he was able to go from 61st in the national championships to World champion in one month?

Or the magical peak by Alsgaard in 2003 when he finished 46th in the World cup yet won an individual world title?
 
roundabout said:
Speaking of Northug, how come he was able to go from 61st in the national championships to World champion in one month?
Because he couldn't care less about the national championships. You're talking about the most consistent skier throughout the year so I guess you're joking.
 
Oct 16, 2009
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meandmygitane said:
Is the norwegian machines sucky beyond belief? Or Is it indicative of doping? If not why hasn't Bjerke won scores and scores of medals? Can VO2-max really fluctuate this much? Was "96" a fluke?
I think so. I wouldn't put too much weight on Dæhlie's reported VO2 max either, unless someone has a proper report of it, and not just a two-sentence quotation.
 
Jun 21, 2009
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goggalor said:
I think so. I wouldn't put too much weight on Dæhlie's reported VO2 max either, unless someone has a proper report of it, and not just a two-sentence quotation.
what in your eyes constitutes a proper report? do you want the actual lab print outs?
 
May 23, 2010
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San Carlo said:
Fun to read about XC-skiing on Cyclingnews, but it is very easy so see that many of you really don't know the sport at all. How many of you have even tried XC-skiing, and tested professional waxed skis, and the difference between perfect skis and average skis?

1. The skis are extremely important! The Norwegians discovered stone grinded skis in 1989, on a training camp in West Yellowstone. They did a test race and the ones who used stone grinded skis, were 2 minutes faster than the ones without. I think it was a 15km.
Norway managed to keep this secret until 1993, but even tough the rest got to know about it they didn't have the expertise the Norwegians had build up. And they managed to keep this advantage for almost the rest of the 90's.

You can see the result of this during the 1991 world championship in Val di Fiemme. The Norwegians had much betters skis than the rest. It was very easy to see on the relay where Norway was leading with 43seconds after the 1.leg by Skaanes on 10km.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDQvvGPkGhw&feature=related

It was the same during the Olympics in 1992. Dæhlie said he felt sorry for Mogren when he past him during one of the races. They had skis from the same factory, but Mogren had no stone grind, and his skis were useless compared to Dæhlie.

The same thing happened a lot of times during the 90's. Especially on difficult klister conditions, the Norwegians had an extreme advantage. Even in 2000 this was still the case.

In the 2000 world cup race at Beitostolen, the Norwegians had 10athletes among the 12 best. The best foreigner was 8!
The same thing happened in Kupio in 2001, where Elofsson was the best foreigner as number 9!

Good skis compared to less good skis are often between 45sec-3minutes on a 15km.

2. One Vo2 test can't be taken too serious. Espen Harald Bjerke, an average Norwegian skier, tested 94. But that year everybody tested high numbers on that machine, which they after some time found out were calibrated wrong.
That being said, XC-skiers tend to test higher Vo2 than runners and cyclists since they also use arms when training. You can find about 30 Norwegian skiers today that will test over 80 in Vo2.

3. Listening to what Kyro says is crazy. Of course he defend himself by saying that everybody use doping. If you read all the facts, there is no indication, no proves, that Norwegian or Swedish skiers used doping. And since skis and technique are so important, clean athletes can beat dopers. One example is Per Elofsson in the world championship in Lahti in 2001. Another is Thomas Alsgaard in the 1994 Olympics. On the 30km skate, Alsgaard had much better skis than the rest, and much better technique.

But even if Norwegian skiers didn't dope in the 90's, they used everything that was allowed, such as asthma medicine and artificial altitude training.

However Norway is among the few countries that have now forbidden the use of altitude training in tents or houses.

A lot can be said about this topic, but I can guarantee that no systematic doping exists in the Norwegian or Swedish national teams now. Petter Northug doesn't even use asthma medicine.

XC skiing is now a pretty clean sport, with a few exceptions. The history has been pretty dirty, but it must be remembered that there is not a lot of money involved in skiing. In Norway for example you make more money working at McDonald's than being on the national team, except for Northug and Bjørgen and a few more.
But in Russia, the situation is very different.

http://blogs.fasterskier.com/worldcup/2010/10/30/return-of-russian-dopers-spurs-debate-in-norway/

Technique and ski equipment can't be compared to cycling technique and equipment. The difference is much, much bigger.
The video from 1991 Val di Femme relay race is a bad example to support your argument. Skaanes skis away from the rest of the field in an uphill section, and the chasing Swede makes some ground on him on the very next downhill.

Skis are important in xc-skiing, but one has to put the stone-grinding part in perspective. National team wax technicians describe the various aspects of fast skis as follows:

- ski camber / flex - 60%
- stone grind / base structure - 20%
- wax - 20%

Understanding how the base structure affects ski glide was developed in the 1990's. The view that Norwegians held a significant advantage in this topic is offered mostly by ...... Norwegians.

I've heard different speculation why Norway took the places 1-8 at the world cup in Kuopio 2001. This race was in November, first world cup of the 2002 Olympic season. Muehlegg placed 10th. The conditions were not difficult for waxing, air temp was -4C, cloudy conditions (no precipitation). Not a single Norwegian placed outside of top 8.

http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2002/CC/2095/2095RL.pdf

This was unprecedented and has been matched only by the entire German team taking spots 1-5 at the World Cup in Vernon in December 2005. Similarly unremarkable conditions for waxing: -2.2C and cloudy. The German team was linked in this time frame to being a customer of the Humanplasma operation in Austria.

http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2006/CC/2078/2006CC2078RL.pdf

It is true that there's little direct evidence to suggest that Dahlie, Ulvang or other Norwegians doped in the 1990's. But you must also realize that saying these guys consistently beat known dopers just by having fast skis and superior technique sounds a lot like a certain Texan claiming he was the best because he was most focused, gifted and was on his bike 7 hours a day.
 
May 26, 2009
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maltiv said:
How reliable are those friends? Cause that sounds very unlikely to me, unless they basically wanted to get caught. That's like going to a public "How to rob a bank" seminar :p
The seminar was probably about new training techniques, preparation for races, etc. and not a doping seminar. That doesn't mean that they couldn't secretly cover doping methods if all the participants were top class athletes or dirty team officials.

You're right that if they went to a "doping seminar" it sounds like they would've wanted to get caught. It would be interesting to hear a bit more about this seminar.
 
May 26, 2009
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San Carlo said:
Fun to read about XC-skiing on Cyclingnews, but it is very easy so see that many of you really don't know the sport at all. How many of you have even tried XC-skiing, and tested professional waxed skis, and the difference between perfect skis and average skis?

1. The skis are extremely important! The Norwegians discovered stone grinded skis in 1989, on a training camp in West Yellowstone. They did a test race and the ones who used stone grinded skis, were 2 minutes faster than the ones without. I think it was a 15km.
Norway managed to keep this secret until 1993, but even tough the rest got to know about it they didn't have the expertise the Norwegians had build up. And they managed to keep this advantage for almost the rest of the 90's.

You can see the result of this during the 1991 world championship in Val di Fiemme. The Norwegians had much betters skis than the rest. It was very easy to see on the relay where Norway was leading with 43seconds after the 1.leg by Skaanes on 10km.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDQvvGPkGhw&feature=related

It was the same during the Olympics in 1992. Dæhlie said he felt sorry for Mogren when he past him during one of the races. They had skis from the same factory, but Mogren had no stone grind, and his skis were useless compared to Dæhlie.

The same thing happened a lot of times during the 90's. Especially on difficult klister conditions, the Norwegians had an extreme advantage. Even in 2000 this was still the case.

In the 2000 world cup race at Beitostolen, the Norwegians had 10athletes among the 12 best. The best foreigner was 8!
The same thing happened in Kupio in 2001, where Elofsson was the best foreigner as number 9!

Good skis compared to less good skis are often between 45sec-3minutes on a 15km.

2. One Vo2 test can't be taken too serious. Espen Harald Bjerke, an average Norwegian skier, tested 94. But that year everybody tested high numbers on that machine, which they after some time found out were calibrated wrong.
That being said, XC-skiers tend to test higher Vo2 than runners and cyclists since they also use arms when training. You can find about 30 Norwegian skiers today that will test over 80 in Vo2.

3. Listening to what Kyro says is crazy. Of course he defend himself by saying that everybody use doping. If you read all the facts, there is no indication, no proves, that Norwegian or Swedish skiers used doping. And since skis and technique are so important, clean athletes can beat dopers. One example is Per Elofsson in the world championship in Lahti in 2001. Another is Thomas Alsgaard in the 1994 Olympics. On the 30km skate, Alsgaard had much better skis than the rest, and much better technique.

But even if Norwegian skiers didn't dope in the 90's, they used everything that was allowed, such as asthma medicine and artificial altitude training.

However Norway is among the few countries that have now forbidden the use of altitude training in tents or houses.

A lot can be said about this topic, but I can guarantee that no systematic doping exists in the Norwegian or Swedish national teams now. Petter Northug doesn't even use asthma medicine.

XC skiing is now a pretty clean sport, with a few exceptions. The history has been pretty dirty, but it must be remembered that there is not a lot of money involved in skiing. In Norway for example you make more money working at McDonald's than being on the national team, except for Northug and Bjørgen and a few more.
But in Russia, the situation is very different.

http://blogs.fasterskier.com/worldcup/2010/10/30/return-of-russian-dopers-spurs-debate-in-norway/

Technique and ski equipment can't be compared to cycling technique and equipment. The difference is much, much bigger.
I've tried the difference between skis waxed by myself using 10€ waxes and the skis of a national racer and there was a huge difference :) That doesn't, however, tell me anything about the difference between for example top Swedish and Norwegian skis in the 90s.

Like in the Armstrong case it's hard to argue when you've got no positive tests but considering Daehlie raced in an era when you couldn't test positive for EPO or blood doping it's hard to think that he was clean. Hopefully he was, unfortunately it's not likely.
Kyrö made an interesting analogy some time ago about doping and German motorways: in the 70s and 80s you could drive as fast as you could, in the 90s you got some preliminary limits and nowadays you can't go past 120. I don't know if that last one is a hint that skiers nowadays would be at 120% (doped for an extra 20%) or if it's just to say that they have limits now.

How do you know the national teams in Sweden and Norway don't have systematic doping nowadays? I've found funny (and sad) similarities in skiing in the past few years when officials have insisted that "there were some mistakes made by a few individuals back then but nowadays everything's different". Sound familiar to anyone on these forums? :)

BTW, like Tubeless I've also heard other reasons for Norwegians finishing top8 in Kuopio :)
 
Jun 21, 2009
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maltiv said:
How reliable are those friends? Cause that sounds very unlikely to me, unless they basically wanted to get caught. That's like going to a public "How to rob a bank" seminar :p
RdBiker said:
The seminar was probably about new training techniques, preparation for races, etc. and not a doping seminar. That doesn't mean that they couldn't secretly cover doping methods if all the participants were top class athletes or dirty team officials.

You're right that if they went to a "doping seminar" it sounds like they would've wanted to get caught. It would be interesting to hear a bit more about this seminar.
as RdBiker says, an invitation to ''come to the hub of italian epo knowledge and learn how to be the best doper in the world'' was obviously not the way they went about it. And the seminar was not something anyone not within the circle would've heard of, i assume you had to be somebody to be there.
 
Aug 14, 2009
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I know it's not much, but one thing in Dahlie's favour is that he always faded at the end of the longest distance, the 50k. When he won the 50k in the 98 olympic, he lost almost 30 seconds on the last K.

About Kuopio. There are so many skiiers trying to get the cut for an olympic spot, that many need to have a peak of form in the beginning of the season. Many other XC nations have their olympic team pretty much ready and they can prepare for februar instead of november and februar.
 
BullsFan22 said:
I am not buying that. I would be more impressed had it been a German research or a UK research that came to that conclusion. Scandinavian bias is probably the most justified conclusion that I would get from that, IMO. It's more than asthma meds that are in question. It's the nitpicking of races and doing well in them. That was what Muehlegg was doing back in 2000-2002. He was somewhere out in the goonies, kind of like Rasmussen and then just showed up and won three races. I remember the commentators saying that he was on some sort of 'special diet' with a lot of vegetables, and that is probably the reason his face looked all out of color, lol. Yeah, maybe so. Anyway, I try not to think of who is doping and who isn't in XC skiing, although sometimes it is pretty easy to pick them out, even if they are not caught.
We're talking about a peer-reviewed scientific article here so any bias you are hinting at would constitute scientific fraud and would suggest incompetence on the part of the journal and the peer-review process.
 

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