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sports

TV programme to reveal doped skiers?

Photo: Jonas Andersson/Sveriges Radio

Professional cross-country ski athletes have been taking performance drugs since the 1990s, according to Swedish TV program Uppdrag Granskning. These revelations and even a list of the athletes who have taken drug enhancers will be revealed in its program which airs on Wednesday evening.

Doping within cross-country skiing appears to have been prevalent in the 1990s, according to the report. It claims Swedish and Norwegian skiers had levels of red blood cells that could not have been achievable without blood manipulation, or doping. In fact, they say, that with today's blood doping limits, many of the skiers would not have been able to race at all.

Blood tests before professional races were first introduced in 1997. During the World Cup in Finland that year, 40 skiers were tested, but those results were kept secret. The program, Uppdrag Granskning says it obtained the list from the then Finnish national coach, Kari Pekka Kyrö. The list names athletes with unusually high blood values, some of those come from Sweden and Norway.

Former world champion Torgny Mogren told Swedish Radio that he is not surprised by the report, since it was pretty well known that some skiers used performance-enhancing drugs back then. However, he says he does not think any of the names to be revealed in the program tonight will be Swedish athletes.

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