Monday, December 13, 2010

Picture of the Weekend

Bjørgen, having closed her 30 second gap to Kowalczyk, sits in on the descent to the finish line at Davos. "Hey, Justyna. I'm glad I caught up to you. Have you seen my inhaler? I thought I had it, but maybe you have it. Pass it back, wouldja?"

I almost wished that Marit had come around Justyna on the straightaway, just as a "fuck you." She didn't, but then again she didn't need to. The yellow bib speaks for itself.


Anonymous said...

Take it easy, Tassava. If you think Bjoergen isn't cheating, you are mistaken. Somebody using a substance that is banned by WADA is cheating, simple as that. Insulting an Olympic and World champion does nothing, so using the phrase 'fuck you' does nothing in this case. Did you see the gaps in the women's 10 km? Did you see how easy she took her skis off and walked away? Most people would be tired after such an effort.
Armchair quarterbacking at its finest. Congratulations.

Mountainmums said...

Now I respectfully disagree with Anonymous. Bjoergen has a documented need for the asthma medecine she takes.
Concerning the Pole, I really think she's the one who should lay low as she's the one that has a history of doping. And she's the one who apparently trains 6 hours per day, races all winter long with no downturns in her shape and whose technique ... could stand some improvement.
Finally, she's the one doing all the smack talk so ... you get what you look for.

Anonymous said...

@Mountainmums, What is Kowalzcyk's history of doping? Bjoergen can use salbutamol for asthma, which incidentally her coach Egil Kristiansen said was the main reason why she did so well last year, while Kowazcyk can't use dexamethasone for her injured knee? Ok, sure. Makes perfect sense, and CAS actually overturned Kowalczyk's suspension, so you have no backing there. You are making an argumant often found in cycling.

Kieran said...

Ahh, classic dope-no dope argument. I tend to fall more on the Bjoergen side of this argument, mainly for the reasons Mountainmums has already listed, as well as the fact that Bjoergen can easily be displaying a 'double'peak'. She can dominate the first World Cup period, go home and train and rest during the Tour and after Christmas, and then be back again for World Champs.
Also, I believe Tassava was dropping the F-bomb simply as a literary device to make a point as a result of their rivalry, rather than a targeted insult.
Finally, regardless of whether Kowalczyk is doping or not, the fact remains that she did have to get a doping ban overturned. In our society, right or wrong, there is a stigma associated with someone who has previously been labeled as breaking the rules.
Keep up the good work NCP, as an armchair quarterback you're not half-bad.

Nat Herz said...

Can you guys please bring this debate over to FasterSkier? We've been lacking in the fire-and-brimstone department lately...

Christopher Tassava said...

I'm surprised and gratified to see this many comments on this throwaway post! One screen cap and sixty seconds of typing is all the nordic-skiing community needs, I guess.

I may have gone a bit too far with the "fuck you" bit, but then again I don't think Marit shoulda said it, only that she should have gone around as a kind of Northug-esque showboating. She's not that kinda person, though.

My larger point was that seeing Bjørgen doing so well this year so far must be seen in light of JK's trash talking last year before the Olympics and this summer. I don't know, of course, if Bjørgen is doping with anything beyond asthma medication (not that this is doping), but I'd guess against it: she's got too much at stake to dope. On the other hand, JK might be clean, but emerges from a sports culture where doping is conceivable - witness the Szczepaniak brothers' doping at cyclocross worlds earlier this year, the ongoing troubles in Russian skiing, or the ubiquity of Eastern Bloc doping during the Cold War.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough, but perhaps you haven't followed enough MLB or NFL or Track and Field or Cycling the last 10-15 years. There is more doping going on in those sports than all the other sports combined. Heck, cycling can cover that all by itself. Perhaps you should look at Spain and Italy. Do you know how many doping cases have been in those countries? Too many to count. Floyd Landis seemed like a perfect folk hero, didn't he? Well, we were all wrong. Now people accuse him of lying and backstabbing. I guess omerta is omerta for a reason. Look up Carl Lewis and Levi Leipheimer. You'll find some startling results. As I said earlier, perhaps you haven't followed Baseball or Football, or even college sports. Reading all the news, it seems like there is drug abuse (whether performance enhancing or not) every other day in those sports. The 1990's is often called the "EPO Era," in the sports world, cross country sking included. Take a look at this:
Marion Jones, TIm Montgomery, CJ Hunter, Justin Gatlin, Leshawn Merritt, Dennis Mitchell, Antonio Pettigrew, Alvin and Calvin Harrison, Jerome Young, Jon Drummond, Maurice Greene, etc, have all been implicated in doping scandals. This isn't even the tip of the iceberg, heck, it's still trying to locate the tip. Going back to Spanish cycling, look up the recent "Operation Greyhound." Marta Dominguez, a world class Spanish steeplechase runner, has just been implicated in a doping scandal. Valverde, Heras, Contador, Beltran, Nozal, Sevilla, Aitor Gonzalez, Landaluze, Mosquera, etc. It's interesting how Muhlegg got caught doping with the Spanish team, instead of the German team. He had average to good results while on the German team, but when he came over to Spain, he blossomed. I wonder why, lol. You can go on forever with these guys, and Spain is about as far away from the "Eastern Bloc" as you can get. That has nothing to do with geography or political preferences or propaganda. Endurance sports and sports in general have had doping problems as far back as the first modern olympics in 1896. Let's not kid ourselves, there is just as much doping in the US as there is in Russia, XC skiing excluded.

jpnwrt said...

She's emerged from a culture where doping is conceivable? What did you take before you started writing that? Use google or your favourite browser and search for "Norway weightlifting steroids". Also, if Poland and Russia and GDR are the same culture, please refer to your own post about Danes and Finns. I could go on like this, mention Bystoel, some Swedes recently, but it's completely irrelevant - doping in Xcountry skiing is conceivable in Norway, which is proved by the facts _now_, not by the history of doping in Norway or countries nearby.
Now, you've been quite consistent for years searching for dope cases all over the world, so I can't quite get it why you've had so much trouble finding info regarding dope-marit. Just use keywords: "steroids bjoergen".
And it is particularly, forgive me, immature argument, about JK's history of dope trouble. She took, was caught, and _was punished_ (severly enough or not, you are welcome to differ with me on that). Dope-marit wasn't punished, is doping year in and year out, especially before important events, when her condition mysteriously always deteriorates, ever since she suddenly developed asthma *rofl*. Great message to kids all over the world - dope or forget success in professional sport, just dope legally. No wonder most top Norwegian skiers already have asthma. Question is: why is world's xcountry skiing dominated not by Norway, because it's not, but only by dope-marit. Is it because she has worse asthma, or is it because even in Norway most of those really talented would rather not win medals, than dope. /Just so you don't twist my words here: I just indirectly stated that dope-marit is both really talented, and dopes. Yes, legally. Which doesn't change the fact, that she dopes./
Oh wait, may be one's not doping unless caught? Is that what you, Mountainmums, meant? Is that what mums in the mountains do, get a signature from friendly physician and then feed their kids with steroids so they can bring home a medal?
And even if you happen to believe, that it's conceivable (you like that word, don't you) that they really do have asthma, the question asked by great Petra Majdic would be still valid - should people with fewer blood cells be allowed to use EPO, for example?
And my larger point is this - should world championships/olympics medals in future be reserved for ill people? Just recall the guy with artificial leg (or both legs, I don't remember) who won a marathon ahead of those with both legs as they were born with. May be it's time to drop paralympics and start organizing Olympic Games for People With No-Illness Disorder instead?