Saturday, June 22, 2013

FIS Bans Ojlmsfjaegger, Norway Protests Decision

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive
Yesterday the International Ski Federation (FIS) passed a resolution classifying ojlmsfjaegger as a banned substance because it appears to enhance performance. Ojlmsfjaegger, as our regular readers know, are cubes of pickled reindeer heart covered in a special chocolate and smoked salmon sauce. They are eaten at birthday parties in Norway. The Norwegian Ski Federation (NSF) immediately protested the decision, charging the FIS with discrimination and destruction of cultural heritage. In the interests of fairness, we sent one of our intrepid reporters to FIS headquarters in Switzerland and another to the NSF offices in Oslo. Nobody from the FIS was willing to talk with us, but NSF Alpine Chief Claus Johan Ryste took some time to talk with our reporter. Let's find out what he has to say.
BB: Why would the FIS go after ojlmsfjaegger? It's a special treat that Norwegians eat at birthday parties.
Ryste: Since the connection between US skier Lindsey Vonn and the East German doping doctor who works for Red Bull was revealed, the FIS has been getting more serious about drug testing. We are seeing many articles in the press questioning if Alpine ski racers are using performance enhancing drugs. We are also seeing more tweets and Facebook postings from athletes about having to take a drug test. It seems that the FIS is looking into everything that the athletes consume.
BB: Our intrepid research staff has also noticed the increase in athletes reporting their drug tests. But why your beloved national birthday treat? I don't see how reindeer organs, fish sauce, and chocolate are akin to EPO or other performance enhancers.
Ryste: Not just any reindeer organs, reindeer hearts. And it's smoked salmon and not fish in general. You really need to learn about Norwegian cuisine. (short pause) According to the FIS, each of those ingredients is benign. The reindeer hearts and smoked salmon sauce are a great source of protein. The chocolate adds carbohydrates for energy. One of the chemists at the FIS evidently discovered that when all three of those ingredients are combined, the effect is the same as EPO.
BB: What if you figured out the ingredient that was causing the EPO-like effects and substituted it with something similar? Instead of reindeer hearts use elk hearts, or use herring for the sauce instead of salmon.
Ryste: If you changed the ingredients, then they wouldn't be ojlmsfjaegger anymore.
BB: You have a good point. (short pause) Do you think that the FIS is really going after Norway because it has a small, yet very good, ski team?
Ryste: I think that is the real reason. Norway has always had a small team with big stars like Kjetil Andre Aamodt, Lasse Kjus, Aksel Lund Svindal, and Kjetil Jansrud. The FIS won't go after Austria, Switzerland, or the USA because they have big teams and more influence. For example, Lindsey Vonn drinks about 20 cans of Red Bull a day and has been the dominant women's speed skier for the past five years. Nobody is accusing her of doping because of her Red Bull consumption, which puts mere mortals to shame. Yet when Aksel wins Crystal Globes and world championship and Olympic medals in the speed events, the FIS wants to ban a food that has been part of Norwegian culture since Viking times. I think that the real reason the FIS is going after Norway is because our skiers, especially Aksel and Kjetil, can beat those from the bigger nations.
BB: That is ironic going after Aksel, since he is one of the athletes calling for blood tests, which are more sensitive than urine tests in detecting performance enhancing substances. If he had something to hide, or if he thought he was getting an extra advantage from eating ojlmsfjaegger, he would not be saying that blood should be tested.
Ryste: That is correct. Aksel also only eats ojlmsfjaegger an average of once a month and has always passed his drug tests. When the testers come to collect Aksel's urine, he also voluntarily gives them blood, sputum, hair, and stool samples to prove that he really is clean. Ms. Vonn drinks about 5 liters of Red Bull every day, but the FIS has not considered banning Red Bull.
BB: Red Bull does sponsor some of the athletes like Lindsey, Erik Guay, and even Aksel. They also put a lot of money into World Cup racing. There are no ojlmsfjaegger firms sponsoring racers or the World Cup.
Ryste: That's because there are no large firms that make ojlmsfjaegger, just Norwegian mothers and grandmothers. Okay, there are some small firms that make ojlmsfjaegger, but they don't make enough money to sponsor ski racers because mass-produced ojlmsfjaegger taste awful. I would rather eat a dead fish that has been left outside in the sun for a week than store-bought ojlmsfjaegger.
BB:  What will be the NSF's next step?
Ryste: We are going to ask the FIS for an exemption for Norwegian skiers to have ojlmsfjaegger. If cyclists can get exemptions for their asthma inhalers, then Norway should be able to get one for a favorite food. Ojlmsfjaegger are a vital part of our culture.
BB: If the FIS won't grant an exemption for your racers, what will happen?
Ryste: We will ask for a hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport on the grounds of the FIS denying Norwegian skiers their cultural heritage. Our athletes have been eating ojlmsfjaegger for over 1000 years and nobody accused us of cheating in all that time.
BB: What do you think your chances are of winning an exemption for Norway?
Ryste: I am optimistic and am hoping that the FIS will change its mind. If the FIS let Marcel Hirscher have a seeing eye dog to guide him through slalom courses, then we should be allowed to have our traditional birthday treat. Norway is the only country whose national food was put on the FIS's banned substances list. We feel that the FIS is engaging in discriminatory practices and is singling out Norway because it is a small ski nation. The NSF also has evidence that the FIS chemists faked their lab results.
BB: Can you share your evidence with us?
Ryste: Unfortunately, we can't except to say that we know that one of the technicians who handled the ojlmsfjaegger samples used to work at the Red Bull testing center in Thalgau. After working in Thalgau, he worked for Major League Baseball in the USA. Now he works for the FIS. That is all I can reveal to you because we need to keep everything else under wraps until we have a hearing.
BB:  Have skiers from other countries ever wanted to try ojlmsfjaegger?
Ryste: No, that is the funny thing. When our skiers have a birthday during racing season, and we make ojlmsfjaegger, none of the skiers from other countries will eat them. I can't imagine why. Nothing beats the combination of pickled reindeer hearts, smoked salmon, and chocolate! Anyway, if ojlmsfjaegger really acted like EPO or steriods, I believe that the athletes from other countries would eat them too, especially if they believed that eating them would make them faster and stronger.
BB: Gemany, France and Italy have team witch doctors. Has the FIS tested any of the potions that those witch doctors make for the skiers that they work with?
Ryste: I don't know. If you want my opinion, I don't believe so. Otherwise those federations would also have been investigated and the potions would be considered banned substances.
BB: Will Norway have a team witch doctor soon?
Ryste: Not in the near future. Our team is naturally talented and we have good mental preparation. I don't see us needing a witch doctor's services. Of course if the FIS requires us to have one, we will go to Africa and get one.
BB: Do you think that the FIS is trying to deflect attention from the fact that Lindsey Vonn visits a clinic that is run by a doctor who systematically doped teenaged athletes? Her current boyfriend, Tiger Woods, was also involved with a shady doctor.
Ryste: That is very possible. Nobody came after us before the media broke the story about her association with the East German doctor. The team was left alone to enjoy one of its favorite treats. As I said before, Norwegian athletes have eaten ojlmsfjaegger for many years without any problems. I personally don't believe that ojlmsfjaegger have the same effect as performance enhancing drugs. If they did, then our athletes would win every race by large margins. But that is not happening. Norwegian athletes win some races and lose some.
BB: It looks like our time is running out. I want to thank you for this interview and wish you luck in your case with the FIS.
Ryste: Thank you. All of Norway supports its ski team and we are getting a lot of contributions to our defense fund.
BB: And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview.

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