Until recently, doping was the main evil of world biathlon and sport in general. Not only do illicit drugs harm the health of athletes who decide to take risks and secretly take them, they also complicate the life of honest athletes, often preventing them from winning the coveted medal in a fair fight.
In the new season, talk about doping is likely to fade into the background, because a new evil will appear. And this, oddly enough, is fluorine.
During the summer off-season, the International Biathlon Union imposed a ban on the use of fluorinated ski products, without which for at least a couple of decades service crews cannot imagine their lives.
But the problem is that fluoride emissions are extremely harmful to the environment, and lead, among other things, to global warming. Already in Europe, the sale and use of powders containing fluorine for any purpose has been banned. This tool is estimated to help increase ski glide speed by 15 percent.
Skis will be checked for fluoride using a special machine-detector, which will be presented in October. And if a biathlete caught doping can be suspended from sports for several years (or even for life, in case of recapture), then in a situation with fluorine, the worst thing that can threaten an athlete is suspension from the race. Therefore, it is likely that many will try to trick the detector in some way.
Opinion of servicemen
“Our main fear is that some teams will come up with something new that others do not have. In addition, we are very worried that this whole system simply will not work. Many will try to deceive her and then it will be much worse than doping.
We are afraid that many will still use fluorine, but hide it so that it will not be noticed by a special detector machine. We talked about this with the Norwegians and Finns – they are also afraid of this situation ”, – said the chief serviceman of the Swedish national team Johan Walström.
Walström’s colleague from Norway, Tobias Dahl Fenre, in an interview with NRK expressed the opinion that high biathletes, due to innovations, will not be able to count on great success, and also predicted the emergence of new top teams: “Tiril Eckhoff has a high frequency repulsion, it is light. She will have the advantage over Denise Herrmann, who is heavier, has more power and a longer drive.
Everyone has reason to fear everyone. There will be a wide variation from day to day, depending on the quality of the track. This will mean that new riders will appear in the top. And suddenly it may turn out that Spain has the skiing solution that will allow it to get ahead of Norway. ”
By and large, lubricants will have to learn everything from scratch, because almost all of their knowledge is based on fluorine. And the first time the advantage will be for those who are the first to learn how to squeeze the most out of the allowed funds.
What do athletes think?
The best biathlete in the world Johannes Boe, who has confidently dominated the World Cup for the last two seasons, worries that he will have to give up all his skis. As you know, top biathletes have about 20 pairs in their arsenal. Now you have to re-select the appropriate inventory.
“You may have to burn all your skis as the fluoride is penetrating. If we have to give up all the skis we have worked with, it will be a big loss, our service people will be very upset. But if it is necessary for the sake of maximum justice, then we must accept it “, – quotes the words of Bö-junior TV2.
Times are changing, sport does not stand still. Probably, after a few years we will not recognize biathlon. As recently as last winter, there was talk of a possible ban on the use of lead in outdoor sports, which would lead to a forced switch to laser rifles. Many fear that this will make biathlon less spectacular.
We can only accept it. And remember that “harmful” biathlon that we loved – with high speeds and a sonorous shot. Apparently, the time has come to take care of the environment.