During the U.S. Ski Team’s Alaska camp this month, FasterSkier caught the team during a rollerski in Anchorage and chatted with U.S. women’s coach Matt Whitcomb. He addressed everything from the upcoming World Championships to Kikkan Randall’s return, the assimilation of new team members, and what gives the U.S team its competitive edge.
The IOC Executive Board ruled Sunday against a blanket ban on Russian athletes entering the Olympics following the biggest doping scandal in decades. More than the conclusion itself, the guidelines are confusing and unclear — not to mention unfair to Russian athletes and to clean athletes around the world.
FIS rules did not require a provisional suspension for Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby after his urine samples came back with high concentrations of salbutamol. And after their hearing panel concluded he had broken no rules – a finding later reverse by the Court of Arbitration for Sport – FIS could only publicize the case with Sundby’s permission. They say he refused.
News broke Wednesday that Martin Johnsrud Sundby, the three-time defending overall World Cup and Tour de Ski champion, had been handed a two-month sanction and disqualified from two races (and his 2015 Tour de Ski and 2015 overall World Cup titles). “I went into the 2015/2016-season knowing I was innocent, and also that I was acquitted,” he said in a press conference. “I think the verdict is totally unreasonable.”
Two years ago, the U.S. nordic combined community suffered a moment of letdown as its major source of funding, USSA, changed course with regard to its sport. Now, the newly formed USA Nordic Sport is spearheading efforts to rejuvenate interest in jumping and nordic combined. Its leader is Olympic gold medalist and former team veteran Billy Demong.
Leading up to the prestigious Mt. Marathon footrace in Seward, Alaska, APU teammates David Norris and Scott Patterson, both race rookies, were marked as strong climbers but unproven downhill runners. Would they hold back to avoid injury? They went on to place first and fourth overall on Monday in the 89th edition of the race.