Skip to main content

Biathlon scandal gets ugly

Let's start by saying that no result is official, only the A-tests have come back positive and all athletes are entitled to have their B-sample analysed before being declared guilty. But it appears the Russians are in total denial that they are doing anything wrong.

Swedish biathlete Matthias Nilsson Jr commented on his blog "why is anybody surprised? The rest of the team will just continue as usual" and was bombarded with threats such as 'We'll be waiting for you in Khanty Mansiysk' (Russian venue for Biathlon World Cup event next month, and 'I hope you die from cancer'. Charming chaps. Anything to justify serial cheating. The comments and abuse have been picked up by various Scandinavian media channels. I copped a bunch of anonymous comments in Russian which meant nothing to me, followed by some abuse in English as well. Hence comments are now moderated...

Biathlon authorities are hopeful that the B-tests will be processed in time for the World Champs next week. Meanwhile the Russian team think they can cover it over by saying if they hold back certain biathletes from the World Champs, they can justify it by saying they're sick or injured. Hmm, wouldn't take Einstein to work out which ones they might be....

The drug in question is CERA, a thirsd generation of EPO. The testing for it isn't a quick process. These samples are believed to be from the first event of the season in Ostersund. CERA was first found in biathlon last year when Finnish cheat Kaisa Varis was busted for it. A middle-of-the-road competitor suddenly wins her first ever event... just a little suspicious. And she had priors, she'd been done for it before in cross-country skiing. This is not a drug with questionable hormone levels, this is out and out cheating. One strike should be enough to say goodbye to your career. Cycling had its share of CERA in last year's Tour de France.

It would be interesting to know just how many athletes were tested in Ostersund, and particularly from certain nations. Was it only these three that tested positive of all that country, or were they the only ones tested?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

It's all gone Pete Tong at Betfair!

The Christmas Hurdle from Leopardstown, a good Grade 2 race during the holiday period. But now it will go into history as the race which brought Betfair down. Over £21m at odds of 29 available on Voler La Vedette in-running - that's a potential liability of over £500m. You might think that's a bit suspicious, something's fishy, especially with the horse starting at a Betfair SP of 2.96. Well, this wasn't a horse being stopped by a jockey either - the bloody horse won! Look at what was matched at 29. Split that in half and multiply by 28 for the actual liability for the layer(s). (Matched amounts always shown as double the backers' stake, never counts the layers' risk). There's no way a Betfair client would have £600m+ in their account. Maybe £20 or even £50m from the massive syndicates who regard(ed) Betfair as safer than any bank, but not £600m. So the error has to be something technical. However, rumour has it, a helpdesk reply (not gospel, natur

What shits me about match-fixing 'journalism'.

The anti-wagering media bandwagon has dozens of new members this week, all weighing in an industry they have absolutely no idea about. I'm all for getting the betting industry into the mainstream but it shits me no end when they roll out reports and celebrities who simply don't have a clue what they are talking about and don't bother to check basic facts which key arguments in their story. If this was the financial industry, making errors like this would have them in all sorts of trouble, but the same level of regulation doesn't apply because finance stock markets are supposedly all legitimate and serious, whereas sports betting is just a bit of fun for people who can never win in the long-term... according to the media. This week we have seen the sting by the Telegraph which, on the face of it, looks to be a tremendous piece of investigative work into fixing in English football. But the headlines around it are over-sensationalised yet again. Delroy Facey, a former pla

Racing has a Ponzi scheme - and the fallout will be enormous

When the term ' Ponzi scheme ' is mentioned these days, the names Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford instantly spring to mind. The pair of them ran multi-billion dollar frauds (US$60bn and $8bn respectively) that destroyed the lives of thousands of investors who had put their life savings into a 'wonderful' investment strategy. How so many people were sucked into the scheme is baffling to those on the outside. The lifestyle, the sales pitch, the success stories of the early investors - I suppose it all adds up. So where does this link to racing you ask? A prominent Australian 'racing identity' this week has been reported to have lost access to a bank account with punters' club funds of $194m in it. Firstly - is there a worse term for anyone to be labelled with that 'racing identity'? It ALWAYS ends up meaning shonky crook! Secondly - who the hell has a punters' club with an active bankroll in the tens of millions? It simply can't be done. T