Tore Rud Hofstad of Norway was not allowed to start in last weekend’s World Cup races in Gallivare, Sweden due to too high blood values – hemoglobin levels. He is now ready for World Cup start in Kuusamo, Finland.
– I’m looking forward to getting started. I hope it’s not going to be too cold and that I’m able to ski a good race, says Hofstad
He was denied start right in the World Cup opener in Kuusamo following being tested with a hemoglobin value of 17.2, while the upper limit is set to 17.0
He flew back to Norway when he was told that he couldn’t race in Gallivare
– I hope of course that there will be no new problems in Kuusamo. This hasn’t affected me that much, and I choose to go home on my own. I didn’t have to race a relay in —20 Celsius, and that was maybe for the best. There has been quite a bit of media pressure, but that has been OK. The focus has been on my blood and not on training and results, but it’s fine with me if media wants to write about blood. I realize that this makes good press, but I don’t feel that this is a big deal, says the 25-year old.
He has been training in good snow conditions at Bjorli since last Saturday
– I have had very good conditions with more than 50 centimeter of snow and been able to train well. It’s hard to know where I stand at the moment, but I’ll try to make the best out of it. I hope and believe that I have prepared how I’m supposed to, but I have to wait until Saturday to get the answer to how good things are. It’s always exciting before the first World Cup race to find out where you are in the big picture, says Hofstad
Naturally high levels
The newspaper Dagbladet reported that Ruud Hofstad belongs to the category skiers with naturally high hemoglobin values.
– My levels are a bit above the average, but I can’t notice this myself. Some in my family have always had high values, especially on my father’s side. I was doping tested four times before season start. I was also tested at Beitostolen before I was measured to 17.2 in Gallivare, says Hofstad to Dagbladet
Didn’t drink enough
Hofstad was dehydrated from the travel and didn’t drink enough ahead of the FIS test.Â
– I should have brought 10 liters of water on the trip, but who travels with that? I didn’t drink enough before the test either, said Hofstad
Hofstad went right from training to the test, and forgot to drink two liters of water. That’s a mistake that he won’t do again, said men’s coach Krister Soregard
Â – I couldn’t start in Gallivare and choose to travel home on my own. I’m not caught for doing anything wrong. There are no reasons to suspect me for anything. I realize that some individual can mix this up in their heads, but I don’t need to defend myself against anything, said Hofstad to Dagbladet.