Alexander Bolshunov, Russia | Bolshunov has tested for doping most of the time in Russia: – It works against its purpose

Alexander Bolshunov, Russia |  Bolshunov has tested for doping most of the time in Russia: – It works against its purpose

In Russian media, e.g TV matchAlexander Bolshunov is widely reported to be the athlete who underwent the highest number of doping tests during the first two months of the year in Russia.

During January and February, the cross-country star was tested five times, according to RUSADA (the Russian anti-doping agency).

At first glance, this information may seem reassuring and give the impression that Russia takes anti-doping work seriously while being banned from international competitions.

However, NRK sports commentator, Jan Peter Saltvedt, has a different view on the matter.

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– He becomes suspicious

He believes the headlines only fuel further suspicion against Russia, which already has a checkered history in doping.

– I think that Bolshunov's kind of experimental glorification actually, more than anything else, contradicts his purpose. “I noticed that I was becoming suspicious, and everyone closely involved would certainly be as well,” Saltvedt tells Netavisen.

– How should the titles of these doping tests in Russia be interpreted?

They are doing what some international federations have always done. They test the stars they want, and they get the results they want, Saltveit replies.

The NRK commentator goes on to say that “the Russians have no credibility when it comes to doping tests on their soil.”

– They cannot even try to pretend that there has been a regime change since Sochi and what happened there. It is no coincidence that they are still not WADA compliant. Nobody trusts them, says Saltveit.

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When Saltveit mentions Sochi, he is referring to the doping scandal in connection with Russia's organization of the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014.

After numerous violations of doping regulations, Russia was banned as a country from participating in international competitions. Rosada remains banned from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

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– He has become stronger

Due to the war in Ukraine, Russia is now banned from participating in most international competitions, including cross-country skiing.

The ban from international competitions has also led some athletes to fear that Russians will not be properly tested for doping in their home country of Russia.

The person who expressed doubts was cross country runner Callie Halvarson.

He previously told Netavisin that he wants Russians to go through a quarantine period before being allowed to return, because he believes we don't know what Russians are up to when they are banned.

Saltveit also realizes that suspicion of Russians increases when they are isolated from the rest of the world.

– They have no credibility, and suspicions have increased one way or another because they have isolated themselves, he says.

Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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