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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Naughty Russia

in: Orienteering; General

Dec 9, 2019 10:57 PM # 
We all just gonna act like WADA didn't just endorse Russia being banned from WOC for 4 years?
Dec 9, 2019 11:17 PM # 
A few angles to this, from what I understand of the decision:

- at least some Russian athletes will be able to continue to compete as "Independent Athletes From Russia" or something like that, as occurred at the 2016 summer and 2018 winter Olympics - what hoops they would have to jump through to do this are unclear (the media reports I've seen suggest that the only ones who wouldn't would be those who have failed tests or have been named in the documents that got Russia banned). I'd expect from this that most if not all Russian orienteers would be able to compete under that banner. It's unclear whether they'd be able to field relay teams.

- Russia would be unable to bid for any major events for the duration of their suspension, which means their (potential?) WOC 2024 bid would be ineligible. There was talk in the lead-up to this decision of also relocating already allocated events (EOC 2021 in our case) if contracturally and practically possible to do so, but I assume this isn't happening given the media reports that their 2020 European football championships games are going ahead.
Dec 9, 2019 11:28 PM # 
FISU, CSIM, and ISF are signatories of the WADA code, so WUOC 2020 could be out the window.

TLDR: Not only must athletes not be directly implicated, they must also demonstrate that they have been tested to a level equal to that of their competitors

The official WADA report states:
"Russian athletes and their support personnel may only participate in Major Events staged in the Four-Year Period where they are able to demonstrate that they are not implicated in any way by the non-compliance with conditions including (without limitation) that they are not mentioned in incriminating circumstances in the McLaren reports, there are no positive findings reported for them in the database and no data relating to their samples has been manipulated, and that they have been subject to adequate in-competition and out-of-competition testing prior to the event in question according to WADA, in accordance with strict conditions to be defined by WADA (or the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), if it sees fit), pursuant to the mechanism foreseen in ISCCS Article 11.2.6. In this circumstance, they may not represent the Russian Federation"

ISCCS Article 11.2.6:
[Comment to Article 11.2.6: An example is the IAAF's Competition Rule 22.1A, which (as discussed in ROC et al v IAAF, CAS 2016/O/4684) created the possibility for Athletes affiliated to a suspended member national federation to apply for special eligibility to compete in international competitions as ‘neutral’ athletes, where they could show that the suspended member's failure to enforce the anti-doping rules did not affect the athlete in any way, because he or she was subject to other, fully adequate anti-doping systems for a sufficiently long period to provide substantial objective assurance of integrity. In particular, the Athlete had to show that he or she had been subject to fully compliant Testing both in and out of competition that is equivalent in quality to the Testing to which his or her competitors in the international competition(s) in question were subject in the relevant period.]

So they have to demonstrate they've done as much testing as everyone else, so basically zero then?
Dec 9, 2019 11:30 PM # 
Re: Euro 2020 soccer and EOC 2021; only World Championships are covered by the "Major Events" clause
Dec 10, 2019 12:14 AM # 
re: WUOC.
Interestingly, the current FISU President is Russian.
Dec 10, 2019 12:58 AM # 
US Olympics had systemic cheating for decades and not a peep.
All athletes use performance enhancing drugs. This isn't why Russia's being banned.
This is just one dimension of the Cold War redux .
Dec 10, 2019 1:23 AM # 
The bit about committee members resigning (unless I've misread the WADA document) only applies to Russian government officials/representatives, not Russians in general.

On a lighter note (from Australia's equivalent of the Onion):
Dec 10, 2019 1:32 AM # 
Ah yeah, good point.
Dec 10, 2019 1:35 AM # 
Really, yurets? I'm not going to say the US didn't have systematic cheating , because I have no idea if they did or didn't, but saying all athletes use performing enhancing drugs is just wrong. It is both disingenuous, and politically dangerous to make statements like that in a public forum.
Dec 10, 2019 1:40 AM # 
Pink Socks:
Tobby, yurets is a troll.
Dec 10, 2019 1:59 AM # 
pinksocks got triggered, again! ...this one is certified-smart.

@Tobby, don't be naive. Of course I am not talking about amateurs.
Dec 10, 2019 3:11 AM # 
Hey Yurets, please point out the Russian version of Lance, Marion Jones, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Justin Gatlin. Oh wait, that's right, all Russian athletes are innocent because of US conspiracy and frankly just a coincidence that Russian skiers peak exceptionally well for the Olympics.

As a Canadian who watched our national track team get basically blown apart post Ben Johnson (for good reason), I'm waiting for the Russian State Sport system to actually admit an athlete has doped.
Dec 10, 2019 5:25 AM # 
@Canadian, lots of emotion, if an athlete is found cheating, one is penalized, regardless of country of citizenship or nationality...the only fair rule. The rest is ugly politicizing of international sport by hijacking an international organization, that is what I see.
Dec 10, 2019 7:25 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
Totally ignoring the possibility that several Russian athletes may in fact be innocent, the same can NOT be said for their leadership/government and anti-doping facilities:

IMHO the fact that they have been caught red-handed falsifying tests, and then after the fact, caught again modifying the testing database and stored samples, should make them ineligible for any sports participation forever.

I.e. I want clean Russian orienteers and xc courty skiers, but I want RUSADA etc to be dismantled and all testing to be performed by international labs who must have 24x7 access for both planned and random testing. This must of course include all the required visas to travel to wherever the athletes are located, with a holdup automatically counting as a positive test. The cost of such travel/testing will be covered by Russia, at least for the next 4 year period.
Dec 10, 2019 1:29 PM # 
@Yurets, I'm going to assume you didn't mean to call me out by my handle but instead are intending to call out @Nev-Monster.

Re the actual discussion at hand, I was quite disappointed when the 'athletes from russia' were labeled as such in the last Olympics. In my mind it amounts to no different as saying they are the Russian team. One can still count their medals and I'm sure many people were doing so. They still had a hockey team which was a farce. There's no way it was representing anything other than Russia no matter what was said on their jerseys.

I hope if any russian athletes are allowed to compete at future games they are competing under the IOF flag and not under some 'non-russian' Russian flag.

Re allowing individual athletes to compete if they can prove they are and have been clean.... I'm torn on this. I'm absolutely in favour of it in principal... BUT... that's not the way our sport system works. Countries compete at international games and athletes represent countries. Period. If that wasn't the case then we'd truly have the bet 100 athletes at the World Champs regardless of what countries they're from. Instead, each country can only send x number of athletes and we have Canadians that are ranked 300+ in the world at the world champs while there are probably a dozen Swiss athletes that have an outside shot at a top 10 at the WOC that aren't there.

Given that that's the system, why should a Russian athlete be able to go to WOC (for example) representing only themselves when that 7th best Swiss can't?

(And yes, I'm playing devil's advocate here as much as anything else)
Dec 10, 2019 5:03 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
saying all athletes use performing enhancing drugs is just wrong

It is less hyperbolic than suggesting a comment on Attackpoint is politically dangerous.
Dec 10, 2019 5:59 PM # 
why should a Russian athlete be able to go to WOC (for example) representing only themselves when that 7th best Swiss can't?
I think for the olympics, the Russian "quota" of places was reallocated to clean "Olympic Athletes from Russia".
Dec 10, 2019 6:06 PM # 
Graeme, yes I understand that that was what happened - is that what should have happened though? In practical they were still representing Russia.
Dec 10, 2019 8:04 PM # 
It's a bit like when a country decides to boycott the Olympics. The athletes are the victims. (Plus their supporters and fans.) Clean athletes are the victims when their country is banned, assuming such exist.
Dec 10, 2019 8:08 PM # 
The question of how an athlete can prove they've been properly tested when their country's testing agency is compromised is an interesting one. It would seem this could only work for athletes living elsewhere.
Dec 11, 2019 8:45 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
@fossil: Afair, that was in fact the case for some T&F athletes who had been based in the US for the last (several?) year(s) and tested by the US WADA etc.
Dec 11, 2019 12:42 PM # 
At the 2018 Winter Olympics (when under the same sanctions) 168 Russian athletes were able to compete, with 17 of them winning medals.

Clearly, Russian athletes who are able to pass non-RUSADA doping controls are able to compete. However, you would need to travel to that country for the testing, and presumably pay for. I can't imagine this is cheap.

However, the clause that says Russian orienteers need to be tested to the equivalent level of their competitors might be an issue. What is the actual current level of out-of-competition testing in orienteering? In GBR it's currently zero. Kris Jones is in the IOF testing pool, but AFAIK no other British athletes are being tested out-of-competition.
Dec 11, 2019 3:29 PM # 
The simple answer would seem to be that if zero is the current out-of-competition standard for O then zero is all that is needed to be shown.

Are you instead saying that zero is insufficient to satisfy the "he or she was subject to other, fully adequate anti-doping systems for a sufficiently long period to provide substantial objective assurance of integrity" condition because that just can't be done with zero testing, and therefore there's no means available for an O athlete to be reinstated?

I think you can logically parse the words that way, but if the affected athletes take it to an appeals body I wouldn't be surprised if they got either a favorable decision because of the lack of equivalent testing, or else an alternative procedure to follow in lieu of the unavailable one prescribed.
Dec 11, 2019 4:27 PM # 
fossil, I suspect that is true in far more sports than just orienteering, possibly even in Olympic sports since, as far as I know each country is responsible for their own testing.

It's hard to see what the standard comparison will be for other out-of-competition testing.

For what it's worth, all of Canada's High Performance Program athletes are in our National Testing Pool and I know several for sure have received random knocks on the door from testing agents.
Dec 11, 2019 5:42 PM # 
^ It's true, I've had to pee in a cup several times both in and out of competition season
Dec 11, 2019 8:08 PM # 
There are two forms of testing in orienteering: those the IOF commissions amongst its (small) testing pool and at major events (mostly WOC); and those which are carried out by national anti-doping bodies under their own procedures, which varies a fair bit from country to country in the extent to which orienteering is included.

There's been in-competition testing for orienteering in Australia from time to time, but as far as I know hasn't been recent out-of-competition testing. (I've been tested myself three times in my career, twice in competition and once out of it).
Dec 11, 2019 8:55 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
My wife's sister was a club level kayak'er as a junior, she was extremely proud of the fact that when the Norwegian WADA turned up at their Bestumkilen club/boat house for an out-of-competition/surprise test of Einar Rasmussen (Olympic gold winner), they also tested all the others who happened to be training there that day. :-)
Dec 12, 2019 9:55 AM # 
So, who gets to decide if Russia is at WOC? IOF or WADA. Or the organisers.
Dec 12, 2019 12:01 PM # 
Dec 12, 2019 2:53 PM # 
When Putin gets tired of torturing progressive liberals,
he orders a freshly-backed British baby, shipped from London.

Yum-yum, delicious!
Dec 12, 2019 3:35 PM # 
What is WUOC status?
Dec 12, 2019 3:52 PM # 
"However, the clause that says Russian orienteers need to be tested to the equivalent level of their competitors"

So, all IOF needs to do is to put all RUS athletes into IOF testing pool ASAP. IOF need to do everything what is possible that RUS athletes compete as RUSSIA. This could give also huge media exposure for IOF & anti doping programme if IOF as a international sport organization can conmunicate that RUS athletes will be eligible to compete under RUS flag.
Dec 12, 2019 3:54 PM # 
@Nixon you silly boy - I bet you believe Finland is a real country too.
Dec 12, 2019 4:58 PM # 
@Lexc I bet Nixon knows to stay the right side of the Finland/Russia border, you silly boy ;-)
Dec 12, 2019 5:31 PM # 
Can't be the wrong side of the border if there is no border
Dec 12, 2019 7:25 PM # 
Why do the IOF need to do everything that is possible for russian athletes to compete as Russia? The IOF should do everything they can to ensure that orienteering is clean. That needs to be the one key goal. They should also be doing everything they can to let clean athletes compete but should they compete as Russia?
Dec 12, 2019 8:59 PM # 
If the sanctions go through the nation of Russia is literally barred from World Championships in basically every sport. That has been made quite explicit by WADA.
Dec 12, 2019 10:29 PM # 
Oh, and their flag.
Dec 12, 2019 10:30 PM # 
At first glance I thought yurets was blaming me for invading Iraq, and then I realised he was referring to the former British Prime Minister. (I still have a newspaper poster from election day 1997: 'BLAIR ROMPS HOME').

WUOC would be a decision for FISU, but I suspect it would fall into the category of things which are "practically impossible" to move, especially if a CAS appeal drags things out for some months.
Dec 13, 2019 12:32 AM # 
Impossible to move... yes. But other effects imitstions etc. might there be? I'm assuming the event won't be cancelled completely and won't be moved but beyond that?

I've asked our Canadian University Sports contact about this and I'm waiting to hear back. Will let you know if I hear anything.
Dec 13, 2019 3:39 AM # 
I hear Boris is winning big. Good news...I predict westcoast socialists will be in grief.
Dec 13, 2019 3:51 AM # 
Pink Socks:
Well, gee, that's certainly relevant to Russian doping.
Dec 13, 2019 9:19 AM # 
Of course to ensure orieteering is clean. And I believe that RUS orienteering team is clean. They are in 99,999999% just a coleteral demage OF the bigger picture and money circulating among olympic sports. Thats way IOF need to support them, to trust them, find a way with RUS orienteering federation because apperently no one else from RUS can't help them to legaly overcome the WADA restrictions. If IOF need to pay a few more AD tests this would be a great way to spent money and get them proud to compete as RUS.
Dec 13, 2019 10:12 AM # 
Wow I didn't realise Russia's orienteering team had more people in it than the entire population of Australia.
Dec 13, 2019 11:20 AM # 
Now you know. For more information visit ... you know.
Dec 13, 2019 8:58 PM # 
Just a food for thoughts, and it is a fact, not a rumor: the entire USPS cycling team was using testosterone and EPO during 2 year period in training and competition and not a single positive test, but one, when Lence get away with "topical creeme" BS. (see documentaries"Stop at Nothing" about Lence and his team mates public confessions and lectures after that, all available on Youtube.
There is a rampant use of performance enhancement medicine in sports by individuals and teams, that can pay for it, whether with public money, like Russia and China, or private money like US, Canada, Netherlands (Speed skating), and many others.
WADA is fighting an uphill battle vs ever developing modern medicine and set to loose it completely when genetic modifications will become a norm, we may see it start in 10-15 years, may be more.

There are two labs in the world right now that use parts of donor DNA to replace defective part in host DNA, so previously infertile women can have healthy kids, with high success rate. This is just the beginning.
Dec 13, 2019 9:03 PM # 
As far as Russian O-team, they are just too poor to afford to use doping and not get detected. That requires good and expensive doctors and constant monitoring.
Dec 14, 2019 12:36 AM # 

Do not forget Zbignew Bzhezinski's The Grand Chessboard:

The twenty-first century will be built at the expense of Russia, on the ruins of Russia and against Russia

Sore Sports: Russia Barred From Olympics for Thwarting Washington’s Geopolitical Game Plan
Dec 15, 2019 4:37 AM # 
Did you put out the fire on your aircraft carrier yet?
Dec 15, 2019 5:20 AM # 
Greg, given your USPS example, do you think the FBI was helping Lance avoid positive tests like the FSB was for Russian athletes?

Who's the Russian Lance?

Anytime a Russian politician wants to call their version of Mark McGwire to discuss drug use, or talk about the past, please do.
Dec 15, 2019 6:44 AM # 
Take care of your boats!
Dec 15, 2019 7:06 AM # 
Boat, singular.
Dec 15, 2019 7:38 AM # 
Take care of that boat!
Dec 15, 2019 11:31 AM # 
A point of clarification: if memory serves, neither yurets nor Balter is from Russia. I think they're both from Ukraine, but that doesn't say where their sentiments lie.
Dec 15, 2019 12:31 PM # 
And I want to clarify that my phrasing is not directed at anyone in particular.

‘Taking care of your boat’ just seems like a wise thing to do...

Think of it as a mantra. :)
Dec 15, 2019 4:49 PM # 
Last time I checked, I did not have any aircraft carriers on my list of possessions.
One with my powers do not need to threaten the world with such meager tools like nukes, carriers, boomers, missiles etc :)
Dec 15, 2019 5:09 PM # 
in my example I used USPS team as an example not because they were based in the States, but only because there are a lot of public information about it by now.
They were adequately tested in States and abroad and were not caught, no cover up, like in case of Sochi and the Russians.
My main point that there is a rampant use of beneficial chemicals in modern sports where money is at stake.
If you have time, listen to Mary's Wittenberg (former CEO of NY Road Runners Club) on her thought of recent attack on 2:00 hours winning time in marathons.
As a high up public figure she does not go into direct accusations, like myself, but as I said listen carefully, and understand what she is trying to say between the lines :)
Dec 16, 2019 3:25 PM # 
While I generally want to believe orienteering is a much cleaner sport than others, I do see developments in all four IOF disciplines that make me wonder how clean and fair orienteering really is. I am explicitly not regarding the top-level athletes as more or less suspicious here, the "broad masses" are at least equally fallible, but less well documented...

We have seen one recent case of doping in 2017 (see section "Sanctioned Athletes and Support Personnel"), earlier cases don't seem to be documented or have been deleted after the ban expired. We have seen various cases of embargo-breaking (WOC Latvia zip-wire, WMTBOC Lithuania landmark on Picasa; and maybe just about any public event where the finish arena is declared out of bounds pre-event - my memories go back to masters living in hotels within the sprint final terrain at WMOC 2012, but also recent MTBO riders being caught "just buying some bread roles" and returning to their camping van within the embargoed terrain at MTBO-WC in Germany). We have cheating even in seemingly unlikely TrailO (non-eligible persons competing in handicapped category, see 2018-Ruling 2.pdf). Let's face it, crossing some forbidden object in sprint orienteering seems to be pretty much the norm, sometimes proven by GPS tracks, sometime strongly assumed by "impossibly legitimate split-times". Self-disqualification afterwards is (increasingly?) respected for top-level athletes, while some organisers of public events actually turn down the self-disqualification requests because they realise most athletes that would move up committed the same violation and just haven't spoken up. Oh and let's not even start with all the doubts about "information doping" that the recent foot-o WorldCup final spell out, because realistically, earlier cases (for example drawing sprint maps from public data at least for memo-training) have been known (and documented in blogs and o-magazines) for many years.

Further up this thread, yurets got flamed for his statement "All athletes use performance enhancing drugs". He actually might be closer to reality than some wish to believe. 20 years ago, studies on participants of "hobby-level" athletes at 10k and half-marathon running competitions showed that the use of pain-killers was wide-spread. Speaking to a range of orienteers tells me these drugs exist in our world also. On the very much non-binary scale "doping or not", regular use of pain-killers is in my opinion just as much doping as methods that are really sanctioned.

When running the second(!) leg of Jukola in the past years (admittedly, far behind the leaders) and seeing how many gel-sachets are already then cluttering the trails (and getting really depressed about our environmental foot-print), there are times when I even wonder how close to doping such "nutritional enhancements" are.

Honestly, where to draw then line?

TL,DR: You better watch out, you better not cry... Santa Claus is gonna find out who's naughty or nice!
Dec 16, 2019 4:26 PM # 
j-man, did they reply? if not I will inquire on your behalf....but you do not want to annoy those friendly folks too much, or the next president will not be as good.
Dec 16, 2019 6:52 PM # 
jSH, are you talking about drugs like ibuprofen? Definitely in use. Is that doping? I think most people would say no.

Before a big race (and sometimes during), I will usually drink a half-liter or so of a solution of glucose polymer and various salts. Is that legit? It's unquestionably engineered stuff. But there's no potential of causing myself harm if I overdo it.

But maybe those aren't the sorts of things you're talking about.
Dec 16, 2019 7:20 PM # 
Training is cheating
Dec 16, 2019 7:25 PM # 
Let's see.. training:

- improves performance
- can be dangerous in excessive amounts
- gives a very clear advantage to those who do it

Yep, training is doping. By that measure most American orienteers are pretty clean.
Dec 16, 2019 7:45 PM # 
JJ, sorry, I'm away from my main computer right now, where I have a scanned copy of study results from end of the 1990s.
For now, I just googled "pain killers doping", and came up with this:
Quoted from there: "It is a grey zone. In my opinion pain killers fulfil all requirements of a doping substance because normally pain is a protection mechanism of the body and with pain killers you switch of this protection system, like if you switch off fatigue, which is also a protection mechanism of the body. Painkillers really enhance performance but they have negative effects on body tissues, maybe irreversible effects."
And the above Google search comes up with numerous more recent studies and reports, excessive use in rugby, bike racing, tennis, ...
So no, I don't agree that Ibu and the like are harmless.

And trying to be serious, Cristinas criteria for doping don't quite match what WADA is looking for...
Dec 16, 2019 9:31 PM # 
Just curious, how many RUS O-athletes were tested by RUSADA during this infamous period? In case they did tested them is it legal for athlete to ask WADA to sent B sample to testing in foreign Lab? If WADA do not trust the origin of the samples why athlete can't have the right to be tested again and to verify his B sample?
Read on nopesport the possible outcome and I would be very surprised if CAS gives WADA a green light.
Dec 16, 2019 9:55 PM # 
I also don't understand why WADA didn't leave it the final decission to the international sport organizations. Now is question who run the sport, federations or WADA? It is frustrating to see that WADA can't punish the system, doctors, institution and responsible persons without to include best athletes in equation. Athletes are humans not just toys in WADA hands. So unfair this geopolitics.
Dec 16, 2019 11:00 PM # 
You certainly don't need any military or drug enhancements to show your real Darth Balter powers. It is already well established and beyond any discussion :)
Dec 17, 2019 12:25 AM # 
To clarify, it was my sports drink that I said was harmless. OTC drugs can definitely cause harm: ibuprofen and aspirin can damage your gastric system, and acetaminophen can seriously trash your liver. But I don't think many people would consider using them in quantities consistent with the labeling to be doping.
Dec 17, 2019 4:02 AM # 
Thanks yurets. I actually don’t really care—I think the Russian carrier is a red herring. Let the Americans have the sitting ducks. The Russians will focus on the Skyfall, Novichok, etc.
Dec 17, 2019 4:19 PM # 
I am surprised to understand each and every your word. Your vocabulary is usually so sublime!

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