Doping in XC skiing

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Feb 27, 2013
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python said:
because for hemmingson not to suspect or being aware of the measurement bias would be beyond believable for a professional involved in anti-doping. besides, clearly, it is a convenient position to take today. also, the astronomical early limit of 18.5 must have considered the bias.
Why do you assume that there's anything "sudden" about the knowledge of HemoCue's measurement errors? What do you mean by "it's a convenient position to take"? Ola Rønsen, Damsgaard and Hemmingson, all of whom have commented on the measurement errors involved in the test results from Lahti 1997, are not taking any positions regarding HemoCue, they are simply referring to established knowledge in the field. Hemmingsons's main role, besides being the co-author of the letter from Ola Rønsen, is being responsible for testing in Thunder Bay 95, member of the FIS antidoping committee as well as having been team doctor for Sweden.

Personally, I don't know exactly how much knowledge of HemoCues measurement errors there were at the time, in 1997, but it wasn't necessarily that vast. There's a reason it's not in use anymore, and there's a reason hemoglobin experts agree that it's not reliable enough to be used either in a doping context nor in medicine.
 
Feb 27, 2013
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python said:
i called your line of argument suspect. i also explained why. nothing else. if that is name-calling, your sudden appearance here peddling convenient theories of one side only becomes apparent.

as i said above, i am not in awe of the svt piece quality, but yours (and some others) suddenly appearing in the thread arguments impress me even less. again, it was explained.

my record here is such that i never even once accused a norwegians or a swede of doping but i will have a comment when a line of argument sold as an attempt at debate looks like a white washing effort to me.
You are paranoid, my friend. Before we can get into any kind of "debate" regarding doping in Sweden/Norway, we have to agree on the facts and get an accurate understanding of what we're debating.

The end result of this documentary, is a lot of ignorance and confusion, which pardon me if I'm wrong, your posts have been examplifying quite well.

When there are obvious errors in a doping reportage, it seems extremely biased to characterize it a white washing effort, when those errors are commented on and criticised.

It should be irrelevant what your suspicions of other's leniencies are, as long the subject of the discussion is the facts of the matter, but as I've observed from reading this forum, the facts of the matter is consequently losing to speculation.

This kind of journalism does a disservice to the anti doping community.
 
Dec 31, 2011
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python said:
i called your line of argument suspect. i also explained why. nothing else. if that is name-calling, your sudden appearance here peddling convenient theories of one side only becomes apparent.

as i said above, i am not in awe of the svt piece quality, but yours (and some others) suddenly appearing in the thread arguments impress me even less. again, it was explained.

my record here is such that i never even once accused a norwegians or a swede of doping but i will have a comment when a line of argument sold as an attempt at debate looks like a white washing effort to me.
It's odd you find more interest in attacking a list of assumptions rather than the few simple facts I've posted. If I'm one-sided, it's either because I'm right, or because you fail to provide other evidence.
 
Jun 25, 2009
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blueskies said:
That's interesting, thanks for sharing.

Given your knowledge of the norwegian skiing environment/culture at elite (junior) level, would you say it's likely that wide spread doping occures/has occured? Is there a sport wide omerta?
I would say not at all. And I am not saying that because I am Norwegian and being a patriot. We were stupidly unaware :D. What Tore did when he reach senior levels I know nothing about. I occationally meet/see him at MTB races, I can ask him this summer if he shows up :)

The ones I have trained and spent time with as a junior were the following
- Siri Halle (won jr worlds several times). We were on the same team for a while
- Tore Bjonviken on training camps (he was on the neighouring club/team)
- Sindre Brurok (jr national team, 17th on jr worlds and 3rd in relay). We rented a place together for 3 years.

I did not see anything, nor hear anything. For myself I considered taking Paracetamol to be bad at the time (I raced until 1998). I first became aware of EPO through the Festina-scandal, and had not heard of it before.

For me, Johan Olav Koss stands out as the most dubious Norwegian athlete. His results in 94 was unreal. I have heard stories, but nothing I can prove or confirm.
 
May 19, 2010
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http://www.expressen.se/sport/langdskidor/forbundets-svar---kan-gora-test-offentliga/

Svenska skidförbundet (The Swedish Ski Association) might release old blood testing data. If they do so it will bring pressure to Norges skiforbund (the Norwegian Ski Federation), who doesn't seem so keen on releasing such data themselves.

13 years ago Erik Røste thought releasing blood data was a good idea, but now he has changed his mind.

http://www.vg.no/sport/ski/vm/2013/artikkel.php?artid=10114110
http://www.vg.no/sport/ski/artikkel.php?artid=1557231
 
respect to Per. it was awesome when he dropped isometsä in lahti 2001.

bitter hater, no talent, also plays death metal, but then again that's mandatory in that age group in sweden. hmm, better double up the spect.
 
May 26, 2009
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Hats off to SVT for doing such a documentary! I especially loved the advice the Finnish doctor gave Di Centa: 'Go and drink a liter of water and come back in an hour'. What would be a sufficient amount of HEMOHES for diluting such high values? 500ml? One liter? :)

It seems that FIS was not that much different than the UCI in cycling. No matter what you think of the validity of the tests I don't see how FIS gets away with letting the athletes start with such high hb-values. Apparently no one cares.

Btw, can anyone tell me if there's a formula for converting hb to the hct% used in cycling? It would be interesting to see how Smirnov's 198 compares to Riis's 60% :D
 
Apr 4, 2010
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There was just a tv debate in sweden. The former norwegian communications "chief" for the norwegian xc-team personally "guarantee" Bjørn Dæhlie was clean!:rolleyes:

IDIOT!

Did he live with Bjorn 24/7 during all of the 90's?! The norwegian are in totally panic mode and claims all norwegians are clean and that this is a witch hunt...

Where did we heard that lately?
 
Jun 25, 2009
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RdBiker said:
Btw, can anyone tell me if there's a formula for converting hb to the hct% used in cycling? It would be interesting to see how Smirnov's 198 compares to Riis's 60% :D
That would be fantastic
 
Jul 21, 2012
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Walkman said:
There was just a tv debate in sweden. The former norwegian communications "chief" for the norwegian xc-team personally "guarantee" Bjørn Dæhlie was clean!:rolleyes:

IDIOT!

Did he live with Bjorn 24/7 during all of the 90's?! The norwegian are in totally panic mode and claims all norwegians are clean and that this is a witch hunt...

Where did we heard that lately?
Yeah its textbook LA at the moment. Lets hope the swedish release their blood values, that would put even more pressure on them
 
Jun 25, 2009
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From a board at noblood.org

"Hemoglobin and Hematocrit are two different things. But typically the Hematocrit is approximately 3 times the Hemoglobin."
 
Jun 25, 2009
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the sceptic said:
Yeah its textbook LA at the moment. Lets hope the swedish release their blood values,
that would put even more pressure on them
Agree. Norwegian leaders/coaches from that time seem very defensive these days.
 
Mar 4, 2010
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Mathias Fredriksson weighs in:

2002 i samband med OS i Salt Lake var jag på höghöjd 37 dagar i sträck. Har noterat i min träningsdagbok att mitt HB (taget på Östersunds sjukhus) var 138 den 18/1-2002 (två dagar före avresa, förmodligen nertränad) den 1 mars 2½ dygn efter hemkomst var jag på Östersunds sjukhus och hade 144 i HB. Att höghöjdsträning skulle driva HB värdet 20 enheter tror jag inte på.
In 2002 in connection with the Olympics in Salt Lake, I was at altitude 37 days in a row. I noted in my training diary that my HB (taken at Östersund Hospital) was 138 on the 18/1-2002 (two days before departure, probably due to hard training) on the 1st of March 2 ½ days after the homecoming, I was at Östersund Hospital and had an HB value of 144. That altitude training would drive up HB value by 20 units, I think not.
 
Dec 31, 2011
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The reason why there are many opinions on the effect of altitude training is largely due to the fact that it has a strong individual variance where some are responders, some non-responders.

This has been shown i.e. in the study "Individual variation in response to altitude training, 1998", where 44% of the subjects where catagorized as responders.


The effect is illustrated by a distinctive variance of Epo concentration in the respective groups.


A number of studies shows mean change of Hb and Hct of about 10% due to altitude training, i.e. "Effects of intermittent hypoxia training on hematological indices and aerobic performance, 2004".


There is nothing odd about these effects. It is simply a short term physiological adaption further illustrated by the long term effects of people living constantly at high altitudes:


So altitude training is proven. And when +10% Hb / Hct can be achieved as the mean of a study group, it would not seem unreasonable to expect a number of top world class athletes would be able to exceed that with persistent optimization towards personal responses.

Of course using EPO or transfutions is much cheaper, convenient, predictable and more controllable. As well as offering a much stronger effect and other advantages.
 
Dec 31, 2011
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Tyler'sTwin said:
Yes, this article brings nothing contradictory. It does not dispute the effect of altitude training on Hb/Hct values, but rejects Ferrari's claim based on his data not being known. As your linked article says:
"In the absence of Armstrong’s personal data, it is impossible to know where he might fall on the spectrum of altitude response. Without any of Armstrong’s personal data to suggest otherwise, Ferrari’s altitude claim is not credible."

As for the collection of studies; The cumulative litterature is skewed towards lower than optimal results, due to the simple fact that there are many variables to an altitude-training procedure, where some things simply doesn't work, and some things work dependent on individual which can influence significantly on a low sample size.

If looking at a more detalied review of studies (link) on altitude training, you can see various parameters for an altitude program, like:
- number of days
- hours of altitude exposure per day
- living altitude
- training altitude

This is not like measuring the temperature of boiling water, but a system-evaluation. With so many variables it's a complex routine which requires experience and expertice to do optimally. So to pile together the largest samples of studies simply based on titles including "altitude training" does not give an average for much meaningful analysis. One need to group them after similarity of input parameters. Generally good results require living on 2500-3000m and training at 1200-2000m.
 
Dec 31, 2011
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Interesting debate on SVT yesterday.
Dag Kaas, earlier trainer for the Norwegian cross country national team in discussion with Saltin, refuting his suggestion that levels of 17 Hb can't be reached by altitude training. Kaas gave the following details about the values of the Norwegian team:

- Average 13-15, some variation men/women.
- Consistently stable means through 90s, 00s until today.
- Variation due to our altitude program is typically 1-2 g/dl Hb.
- Claimed Norway has(/had?) several racers reaching 17 with altitude training.


Bengt Saltin made a number of statements. The odd thing is that he seem to contradict himself on what Hb limit "indicates doping":

- When you get above 17-17.5 and up, like here with Smirnov up towards 20, it's impossible to reach without manipulation.
- Above 17, there is no chance not to be doped.
- Partly, it's difficult to reach 17-18 with altitude training. You need to be at perhaps 3-4000masl, and then you can't train hard enough.
- It's clear that there are individuals with values up to 16.5-17, and this is now arranged such that they get dispensation. But of 100 skiers, this is perhaps 5 which naturally are this high.


Bengt keeps falling back on the too high "average values" when others discuss peak individual values. I'm a bit confused really what is Saltin's actual argument, as it sounds more like a belief.

Hopefully the debate continues, so this can get clearer.
 
May 23, 2010
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dukoff said:
Yes, this article brings nothing contradictory. It does not dispute the effect of altitude training on Hb/Hct values, but rejects Ferrari's claim based on his data not being known. As your linked article says:
"In the absence of Armstrong’s personal data, it is impossible to know where he might fall on the spectrum of altitude response. Without any of Armstrong’s personal data to suggest otherwise, Ferrari’s altitude claim is not credible."

As for the collection of studies; The cumulative litterature is skewed towards lower than optimal results, due to the simple fact that there are many variables to an altitude-training procedure, where some things simply doesn't work, and some things work dependent on individual which can influence significantly on a low sample size.

If looking at a more detalied review of studies (link) on altitude training, you can see various parameters for an altitude program, like:
- number of days
- hours of altitude exposure per day
- living altitude
- training altitude

This is not like measuring the temperature of boiling water, but a system-evaluation. With so many variables it's a complex routine which requires experience and expertice to do optimally. So to pile together the largest samples of studies simply based on titles including "altitude training" does not give an average for much meaningful analysis. One need to group them after similarity of input parameters. Generally good results require living on 2500-3000m and training at 1200-2000m.
The Swedish documentary simply provides yet another piece of factual evidence of the wide-spread blood doping in cross-country skiing in the 1990's. As has already been proven in cycling, it simply was not possible to beat a doper clean. EPO provided a 5-7% benefit in actual race time performance, more than could ever be gained by amazing talent, perfect skis & waxing and best training facilities combined.

If Smirnov had a Hb of 198 at the Thunder Bay World Championships in 1995, what blood values would be sufficient to come a close second - and beat Fauner with an Hb of 192 and another admitted EPO user Myllyla? Yes, we're talking about the Norwegian hero Dahlie:

http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/610.html?sector=CC&raceid=647
 
May 23, 2010
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RdBiker said:
Hats off to SVT for doing such a documentary! I especially loved the advice the Finnish doctor gave Di Centa: 'Go and drink a liter of water and come back in an hour'. What would be a sufficient amount of HEMOHES for diluting such high values? 500ml? One liter? :)

It seems that FIS was not that much different than the UCI in cycling. No matter what you think of the validity of the tests I don't see how FIS gets away with letting the athletes start with such high hb-values. Apparently no one cares.

Btw, can anyone tell me if there's a formula for converting hb to the hct% used in cycling? It would be interesting to see how Smirnov's 198 compares to Riis's 60% :D
The non-scientific rule of thumb to convert Hb (as grams/liter of blood) to Hct (as % of blood cells) is to multiply by 3.

So Smirnov's HB of 19.8 g/l would be an Hct of 59.4%.
 
Tyler'sTwin said:
I tend to agree that the boy who cried altitude was basically fishin a red herrin.. cod.

Yet it is my recollection that Cap'n tried to debunk primarily the idea that the marginal gains made at altitude could be carried over to the 2nd week of GTs, no? I'll have to look at both of the studies again, though.

Other than that, the full panic control mode is hilarious. As always, flying on fumes brings the truth to the foreground. As always, this is strictly about money and nationalism. In this case they seem to be accompanied by blood and honour, too... My all time faves. NOT.

Next up: Varg Vikernes' comments on the matter?
 
Dec 31, 2011
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Tubeless said:
The Swedish documentary simply provides yet another piece of factual evidence of the wide-spread blood doping in cross-country skiing in the 1990's. As has already been proven in cycling, it simply was not possible to beat a doper clean. EPO provided a 5-7% benefit in actual race time performance, more than could ever be gained by amazing talent, perfect skis & waxing and best training facilities combined.

If Smirnov had a Hb of 198 at the Thunder Bay World Championships in 1995, what blood values would be sufficient to come a close second - and beat Fauner with an Hb of 192 and another admitted EPO user Myllyla? Yes, we're talking about the Norwegian hero Dahlie:

http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/610.html?sector=CC&raceid=647
Yes the documentary provides evidence of the doping culture. But it also gives factual evidence that in Lahti no Norwegian had >170, only one Swede at 175. For Thunder Bay there is confirmed no unnatural values for Norwegian or Swedish skiers.

Dæhlie has held for years the world record in VO2max at 96.0. He also has naturally high blood values, though with his VO2max he would not need 192 to beat Smirnov at 192. I could speculate Dæhlie has a mean Hb of 155 which I'm sure he would push to 170 with altitude training.

Hb is NOT horse power, VO2max is!
 
May 14, 2009
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Sweden has relesed all bloodvalues from they in the team at the moment. No names:

Skier 1, Male
Lowest: 143
Highest: 166

Skier 2, Male
Lowest: 136
Highest: 147

Skier 3, Male
Lowest: 146
Highest: 147

Skier 4, Male
Lowest: 149
Highest: 164

Skier 5, Male
Lowest: 141
Highest: 155

Skier 6, Male
Lowest: 150
Highest: 164

Skier 7, Female
Lowest: 135
Highest: 154

Skier 8, Female
Lowest: 145
Highest: 145

Skier 9, Female
Lowest: 142
Highest: 142

Skier 10, Female
Lowest: 136
Highest: 136

Skier 11, Female
Lowest: 119
Highest: 149

Skier 12, Female
Lowest: 127
Highest: 146

Skier 13, Male
Lowest: 146
Highest: 146

Skier 14, Male
Lowest: 143
Highest: 155

Skier 15, Male
Lowest: 165
Highest: 177

Don't know so much about this to say something else. I think it's good that they do this. They also thinking about reveal all the values ​​from the 90's. And all skiiers in the press have been positive so far about doing this. Hopefully all countries do the same. Would be intresting to compere.

Link to the hole article: http://www.aftonbladet.se/sportbladet/vintersport/skidor/article16334130.ab (Swedish)
Didn't get it to work on google translate.
 
Jun 21, 2009
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dukoff said:
Yes the documentary provides evidence of the doping culture. But it also gives factual evidence that in Lahti no Norwegian had >170, only one Swede at 175. For Thunder Bay there is confirmed no unnatural values for Norwegian or Swedish skiers.

Dæhlie has held for years the world record in VO2max at 96.0. He also has naturally high blood values, though with his VO2max he would not need 192 to beat Smirnov at 192. I could speculate Dæhlie has a mean Hb of 155 which I'm sure he would push to 170 with altitude training.

Hb is NOT horse power, VO2max is!
how is having 'the world vo2 max record' (which in itself has been discussed here several times) a proof of NOT doping? for duck's sake! :D

Why do you say there is confirmed "no unnatural values for Nor or Swe skiers"?
yeah I know hemmingson (sp) has said that, you will say, but really:
We just have his words vs Saltin + other anon sources the SVT people say they have.

It was many years ago Saltin first came up with the Thunder Bay 17,5 claim, why hasn't hemmingsson (sp) said anything in all those years?
 

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