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

lay the field - my favourite racing strategy

Dabbling with laying the field in-running at various prices today, not just one price, but several in the same race. Got several matched in the previous race at Brighton, then this race came along at Nottingham. Such a long straight at Nottingham makes punters often over-react and think the finish line is closer than it actually is. As you can see by the number of bets matched, there was plenty of volatility in this in-play market. It's rare you'll get a complete wipe-out with one horse getting matched at all levels, but it can happen, so don't give yourself too much risk...

The Melbourne Cup preview 2019

We're back again for the greatest race on turf, the world's richest staying race and the only race in the world which creates a public holiday for millions of locals.




Once again a fine international field has been assembled and it's worth a deep look at the race. So get a cuppa and find a comfortable seat to plough your way through my preview!

--------------------------------

The Lexus Melbourne Cup
Group 1, Handicap, 3200m
AUD 7,750,000
Flemington 1500 local, 0400 GMT
Broadcasters - Network 10 (AUS), Racing.com (worldwide), SkySportsRacing (UK)


1. Cross Counter
Trainer - Charlie Appleby (one previous Cup win)
Jockey - William Buick
Breeding - Teofilo - Waitress
Drawn 5, Weight 57.5kg

Last year's impressive winner who doesn't get the 3yo weight advantage this time. Won first up at Meydan in March but has run fourth, third, fourth in the big set weights staying races in England and Ireland, never quite making it as the next big staying star. While running close behind Stradivar…

Westow Stakes - York 16/5/19

The sun was out for a glorious opening day of the meeting, and races down the straight appeared to have no concerns about draw bias. Thursday's card has a few higher profile races but this 3yo sprint is worth watching closely, tomorrow and for future form.



British Stallion Studs EBF Westow Stakes
£50k, Listed & Class 1, 3yo, 5f
York 1605

Soldier's Call - flying machine, winning four of six starts in Britain last season, running third in the Prix L'Abbaye, beaten a neck at WFA then finished sixth as joint favourite in the BC Juvenile Turf Sprint. Has plenty on these on ratings, but life's rarely that simple with unexposed 3yos early in the season.

Broken Spear - more exposed than most of these and well beaten by Garrus first up. Missed Chester last week, probably due to the rain (or a poor draw). Pass.

Charming Kid - won at this meeting last season but has been a little erratic ever since. Well beaten on AW Championships Day, appears to be a few lengths off these.

Garrus -…