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Doping in XC skiing

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Sep 25, 2009
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yes i can compare. look at the fis link i posted in the appropriate thread. ALL skaters and ALL classics skied on exactly the same 3.3 km laps in the same conditions. i have not brought up women races b/c they have nothing to do with the points made. the weather conditions were stable at about 5-7 Cand the course was solid due to salting unlike on other days being melted by the sun.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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again, according to an official fis records i linked, all skates (as well as all classics), raced on:

- the same EXACT course of 10 km, consisting of the same 3 laps of 3357m
- same total elevation of 357 meters
- same starting point and the same finish
- same hight differences of 35 meters
- same day
-essentially the same VERY stable weather 5C and packed salted snow
-essentially the same time with the 3d and 4th leg starters separated by just over 20 minutes.
-a 3d lap of any leg is the same as the 3d lap of any leg.

if you have any evidence that people raced on different physical courses, you need to post it.

so, again, if one could compare times in a race that turned into a bunch of individual time trials - there could hardly be a better opportunity.

my point was that northugs special skis were much slower than the team prepared skis for sundby. there is no way around it. a 40 second difference would hardly be possible if, as maltiv posted, the official line of team issued skis were bad and slow and the northug's self-procured skis' were fast. northug raced his ards off to repair his image.

they were not.
 
May 25, 2009
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So are you saying that the whole field systematically put their best athletes 3rd, or that they all had worse skis or what? Because people went clearly slower on that leg.

Though even relative to the skiers (of the top 10 nations) on the same leg, Sundby performed slightly better than Northug. If Sundby had terrible skis, he was in very good form.
 
They can put better finishers on the last leg.

As for the the different laps discussion it's possible that the final lap was slightly longer, but not significantly so.

Anyone who has the video of the full race can check where the timing beam for the last exchange was located.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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shAdOwArt said:
The 3rd and 4th differ on their final laps inside the the stadium, its easily visible from the television. 4th leg appears to be roughly 10 seconds longer.
good point, but shouldn't it be shorter to make up exactly 10,000 m given that the official lap was 3367 m?

but let's say your observation is correct. then your estimate is quite good based on the following:

northug's average speed was 7.8 m/sec. an extra 100 meters would yield about 12-13 seconds...still barely accounts for sundby's advantage of 42 seconds on team-issued 'bad' skis vs petter's own 'fast' skis.
 
Sep 18, 2009
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Long time lurker of this site, all year round. I never post because I do not have much to contribute. But on this topic I do know a little. I am from norway and I was an active xc skiier in one of Norways best clubs from childhood till I was 20. I know many of the best norwegian skiiers on a personal level. Also my fathers circle of friends contains many people who work with the norwegian xc team. I personally do not believe that the norwegians ever doped, at least not the entire team. But ofc that is just my opinion and I am not here to debate the doping, just to share some information.

Ive been skiing all my life. I was never on the national team or ever in consideration for it, but I have skiied with and against many of the best norwegians and even beaten some in competition. But clearly I am and never was anywhere near as well conditioned as they are. But I have skied a ton and I have skied with some of the best equipment available. I think a lot of you underestimate how crucial good skis are. The difference between good and amazing skies is huge. In my experience this difference escalates with altitude too. I had a two month stay in Boulder Colorado and at the altitudes there I just died when I had bad skis. It is not nearly that significant when skiing at near sea level around Oslo. Of course my experience, not a scientific fact (but everyone I talk to who has experience with this have the same opinion).

I skied with a guy who has skied for the national team and still to this day competes for them. He was (probably still is) considered one of the best in Norway at preparing skis and I had the fortune of having him prepare skis for me a lot. the skis he prepared vs the ones that my club helped me prepare was quite significant. And this is one of Norways best clubs.

The Norwegian team that was sent to Sochi is not our best team. Some of the skiiers should definatly be there, but others should not. There were better performing skiiers. But there are a lot of politics inside the team, the standards required for those who ski for private teams are much higher than those who ski for the national team. A hint here could be looking at the results from the norwegian championship just prior to sotchi. So I would think some who are there simply arent peaking formwise.

The womans team. As you may be aware of Astrid Jacobsens brother died during the olympics. The media has not reported it, but it was suicide. He was supposedly recently romantically involved with Therese Johaug. This is likely to have impacted the girls a lot.

I am not saying there never was or there is no doping in the norwegian team. I just wanted to emphasise that regardless of doping the equipment in skiing makes a huge difference. its not like any other sport I competed activly in (with the exception of sailing where if you count the boat as equipment the details can make huuuuge differences). Between the age of 6 and 20-22 I have been doing pretty much anything I could get my hands on activly: Soccer, Downhill, cycling, long distance running, bandy (scandinavian+russian soccer on ice with with sticks and small ball thing), sailing and ski jumping.

I know nothing about the golden era of the 90s when I was still young, only what my dad told me (as I mentioned earlier he has many friends who are insiders int he norwegian xc team and other wintersport things). He says he never heard anything about the xc team, but that he is confident Johan Olav Koss was doped. Anyway let me tell you one thing here. I have childhood friend who was much better than me at skiing. My childhood friend skied activly untill he was 23. Like many other norwegians he skied as a college athelete in the US while taking his education. He is an amazing skier and his brother skis professionally and has posted some great results (winning professional circuit races). I believe my friend was more of a talent than his brother, but he never had ambition to be a professional. for the last 3 years we shared an apartment in Oslo and spent almost every day together, even on vacations. he has finished his education and works a fulltime job with a lot of extra hours. He still trains a lot and skis every opportunity he has, but never in competition. The guy doesnt take supplements outside of vitamin pills. I know he can follow his brother who has won races on the professional circuit when training and he himself beleives he could beat him in competition. I have seen him train with nationalteam skiers and the gap between them and him is not big, if there even is a gap at all. He is not unique, we have a ton of good skiers who either lack the ambition or are just slightly not good enough for the national team. The two skiers that I know fairly well on the national team never had a jump in performance. I skied with them before they went pro and if anything their performances have been slightly worse or more inconsistant since they got on the national team. If its doping in the current national team then it is not widespread. And in fact a few of our biggest talents in xc skiing the last 7-8 years had very significant drops in performance after they joined the national team, but seem to now to have regained their form on private teams. Simen Østensen is a good example.

TL;DR Doping or not, the main problem in Sotchi is definatly skis.
 
Sensation said:
TL;DR Doping or not, the main problem in Sotchi is definatly skis.
Cool story bro. But don't take it from me. Take it from an MD

CoolStoryBroHouse.jpg
 
python said:
good point, but shouldn't it be shorter to make up exactly 10,000 m given that the official lap was 3367 m?

but let's say your observation is correct. then your estimate is quite good based on the following:

northug's average speed was 7.8 m/sec. an extra 100 meters would yield about 12-13 seconds...still barely accounts for sundby's advantage of 42 seconds on team-issued 'bad' skis vs petter's own 'fast' skis.
Perhaps it should have been, but for whatever reason it wasn't. Maybe they could have moved the start + exchange forward a few metres to level the legs off. Certainly it isn't as odd as some biathlon venues where the first and fourth legs have big noticeable differences in length than the middle legs (cf. Khanty-Mansiysk where leg 1 has to go all around the loop and back through the stadium at the very start, leg 4 gets tagged in the section near the range and finishes without having to go into this area at all), but definitely leg 4 was slightly longer here. Probably difficult to get a real reading of it without having the individual laptimes for each athlete though as final lap probably sees them going harder but has the longer finish.
 
One can extract the times of the live intermediates.

0 => 1.7 (1. lap 1. split) (time in seconds)

Hellner 196
Vylegzhalnin +0
Sundby +2
Northug +4
Livers +6
Hofer +6
Kozisek +6
Legkov +7
Duvillard +7
Clara +7

1.7 => 3.3 (1. lap 2. split)
Sundby 194
Angerer +0
Hellner +7
Northug +7
Hofer +7
Olsson +7
Lehtonen +7
Duvillard +8
Livers +9
Jaks +9
...
Legkov +11

3.3 => 5 (2. lap 1. split)

Angerer 212
Sundby +1
Hellner +2
Legkov +4
Clara +4
Olsson +5
Northug +5
Hofer +6
Jaks +8
Duvillard +8

5 => 6.6 (2. lap 2. split)

Sundby 200
Legkov +1
Clara +1
Jaks +7
Olsson +8
Northug +9
Duvillard +9
Hellner +11
Livers +12
Angerer +13

6.6 => 8,3 (3. lap 1. split)
Legkov 209
Clara +7
Duvillard +9
Olsson +12
Sundby +16
Jaks +16
Hellner +16
Perrilat +16
Vylegzhanin +16
Northug +18

8.3 => 10 (3. lap 2. split)
Legkov 200
Duvillard +4
Olsson +8
Heikkinen +13
Fischer +14
Livers +19
Clara +20
Jaks +20
Vylegzhanin +27
Sundby +28

Only looking for first 8.3 km:
Sundby 1030
Legkov +4
Clara +11
Hellner +17
Duvillard +22
Olsson +23
Northug +24
Angerer +34
Jaks +36
Perrillat +37
 
I don't care who has or will have slow skis, the thing that's strange to me are the start times for all the XC races. Why start at 14:00, the warmest part of the day, when the sun is beating down on the ever changing, ever diminishing tracks? I don't know if it's because of TV scheduling or biathlon scheduling or just FIS/IOC wanting it that way, but it's definitely having an impact. If they start the 30 and 50km races in the afternoon, and the weather hasn't cooled off, it's gonna be the two most brutal races you are going to see all season, maybe in the last few years...

You also have to take into consideration adaptation to altitude, peaking and ski technique. Swedes have mastered that 110%. They did the same in Vancouver. Conditions were very strange pretty much every day in Vancouver as well, and the Norwegian men had good skis that year, but no shape, apart from a couple of the sprinters and Northug. Even the women struggled to an extent, except Bjoergen.
 
May 19, 2010
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BullsFan22 said:
I don't care who has or will have slow skis, the thing that's strange to me are the start times for all the XC races. Why start at 14:00, the warmest part of the day, when the sun is beating down on the ever changing, ever diminishing tracks? I don't know if it's because of TV scheduling or biathlon scheduling or just FIS/IOC wanting it that way, but it's definitely having an impact. If they start the 30 and 50km races in the afternoon, and the weather hasn't cooled off, it's gonna be the two most brutal races you are going to see all season, maybe in the last few years...

You also have to take into consideration adaptation to altitude, peaking and ski technique. Swedes have mastered that 110%. They did the same in Vancouver. Conditions were very strange pretty much every day in Vancouver as well, and the Norwegian men had good skis that year, but no shape, apart from a couple of the sprinters and Northug. Even the women struggled to an extent, except Bjoergen.

Biathlon has a larger audience (Germany and neighbouring countries). If IBU and IOC decides biathlon gets the evening slot it wouldn't be surprising.
 
May 19, 2010
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python said:
again, according to an official fis records i linked, all skates (as well as all classics), raced on:

- the same EXACT course of 10 km, consisting of the same 3 laps of 3357m
- same total elevation of 357 meters
- same starting point and the same finish
- same hight differences of 35 meters
- same day
-essentially the same VERY stable weather 5C and packed salted snow
-essentially the same time with the 3d and 4th leg starters separated by just over 20 minutes.
-a 3d lap of any leg is the same as the 3d lap of any leg.

if you have any evidence that people raced on different physical courses, you need to post it.

so, again, if one could compare times in a race that turned into a bunch of individual time trials - there could hardly be a better opportunity.

my point was that northugs special skis were much slower than the team prepared skis for sundby. there is no way around it. a 40 second difference would hardly be possible if, as maltiv posted, the official line of team issued skis were bad and slow and the northug's self-procured skis' were fast. northug raced his ards off to repair his image.

they were not.

3357 m. x 3 = 10071 m, not exactly 10 km.

I find it hard to see why FIS would demand that all the legs should be exactly the same length. Unless they pass the starting area and the finishing area at each leg it will give extra troubles for the route designers to get the length exactly right on the starting leg and the finishing leg, for no good reason. What does it matter if the third leg is longer than the fourth, as long as all teams races the same distance? This isn't marathon or track cycling, world records aren't registered.
 
neineinei said:
Biathlon has a larger audience (Germany and neighbouring countries). If IBU and IOC decides biathlon gets the evening slot it wouldn't be surprising.

I know Biathlon has a larger audience, but those races have started even later. The XC events could be first thing in the morning, 9 or 10 am. I know that seems early, but the weather and snow conditions should be much better, much more bearable and that much easier for EVERYONE, not just Norwegians.
 
Jul 19, 2009
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Retired french biathletes about bad results of Norvegians : in such kind of snow, their skis are less good and our preparing team is better because we are more used with such kind of weather.
 
python said:
again, according to an official fis records i linked, all skates (as well as all classics), raced on:

- the same EXACT course of 10 km, consisting of the same 3 laps of 3357m
- same total elevation of 357 meters
- same starting point and the same finish
- same hight differences of 35 meters
- same day
-essentially the same VERY stable weather 5C and packed salted snow
-essentially the same time with the 3d and 4th leg starters separated by just over 20 minutes.
-a 3d lap of any leg is the same as the 3d lap of any leg.

if you have any evidence that people raced on different physical courses, you need to post it.

so, again, if one could compare times in a race that turned into a bunch of individual time trials - there could hardly be a better opportunity.

my point was that northugs special skis were much slower than the team prepared skis for sundby. there is no way around it. a 40 second difference would hardly be possible if, as maltiv posted, the official line of team issued skis were bad and slow and the northug's self-procured skis' were fast. northug raced his ards off to repair his image.

they were not.
Well, you seem to have taken the fact that Sundby is in much better shape than Northug out of the equation here. In the skiathlon they both had good skis, but Sundby finished more than a minute ahead of Northug.

The team has said they tested the skis afterwards and Northug's were much better. Sundby had good skis for a bit more than 5 km though (in which he went extremely fast) but then they faded.

I don't know why on earth they would have just made up that story.
 
May 25, 2009
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If you want to get suspicious, Bjoerndalen was super fast in the Mass Start. Which I guess should be obvious, since he was equal with the leaders going into the final shoot despite 2 penalties.

Of course, pushing so hard was quite probably why he had a meltdown on the final shoot.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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From viable’s interview to komersant.

Do you have a reasonable explanation for the miracles of recently injured dario and justyna ?

Everything is clear with justyna. Our team doctor personally saw her black toes…regarding cologna, well, I better keep my mouth shut.

what about the norwegian asthmatics, shouldn’t they feel great at local elevations ?

i think the whole team missed the mark with the preparation…the Swedes, otoh, are brilliant though we hardly saw them all season.

sounds like only cologna did not get a clean pass from the chain-smoking legend of the sport.
 
python said:
From viable’s interview to komersant.

Do you have a reasonable explanation for the miracles of recently injured dario and justyna ?

Everything is clear with justyna. Our team doctor personally saw her black toes…regarding cologna, well, I better keep my mouth shut.

what about the norwegian asthmatics, shouldn’t they feel great at local elevations ?

i think the whole team missed the mark with the preparation…the Swedes, otoh, are brilliant though we hardly saw them all season.

sounds like only cologna did not get a clean pass from the chain-smoking legend of the sport.

If you don't mind, who was interviewee? Polish coach?
 
BullsFan22 said:
You also have to take into consideration adaptation to altitude, peaking and ski technique. Swedes have mastered that 110%. They did the same in Vancouver. Conditions were very strange pretty much every day in Vancouver as well, and the Norwegian men had good skis that year, but no shape, apart from a couple of the sprinters and Northug. Even the women struggled to an extent, except Bjoergen.
The swedes did well in Vancouver too, but the norwegians wasn't out of shape. The norwegians had bad skis in the start of that championship too, but they got better after a few races.

The norwegians seem to have trouble with their skis at the olympics.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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BullsFan22 said:
If you don't mind, who was interviewee? Polish coach?
helena vialbe is the president of the russian ski federation as well the chief coach of their national team.

she is also one of the most decorated xc skiers both genders in her time and of all time.

she is a remarkable lady in many respect... very outspoken, visibly obese, a chain smoker (true), has 3 children (the last was born 3 weeks ago at the age of 46 and the oldest made her a grandmom) and is putin's appointee. what's more, her husband mr vialbe (former hubby or current, dont really know) is a waxman on the ski russian team.