The Trail Running Film Festival - Online Watch Party Get your tickets.

The Trail Running Film Festival - Online Watch Party Get your tickets.

Earlier this week Marcel posted a message on his Instagram account:

22 days ago my doctor advised to take a cortisol inhaler to fight Influenza and the pretty scary cough that came with it. 

Cortisol is the body‘s stress hormone. 

In (short) fight or flight situations, it is quite useful as it suppresses inflammation and increases blood sugar levels that can be used to „fight harder or take flight quicker“. 

In longer stressful situations, it can increase the risk of diabetes, weight gain, immune suppression and every disadvantage that come with high blood pressure, and much more. 

As a steroid hormone, it is also a banned substance by the World Anti Doping Agency. 

So instead of going to the pharmacy and getting what my doctor told me to do, I had a hard decision to make. 

I learned that (no guarantee!) cortisone is allowed before and even during competition when inhaled. In any case, with a washout time of 3-10 days, I was gonna be clear for the TransGranCanaria in 24 days from then. 

I still decided I didn’t want to manipulate my body in this way and relied on my body‘s strength.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the doping situation around Stian Angermund. As a non-elite I do not understand the realities around the pressures to perform and the dangers various substances poise. Stian’s interview makes me quickly want to jump out in support of him and his situation, like a surprising number of elite athletes did on his Instagram post. His story seems believable, even if I don’t know Stian personally, and he portrays himself as a victim of unexplainable circumstances, which seems plausible and forgivable. But! Our sport has to rely on us trusting the systems we’re putting into place to protect the integrity of the sport. If we doubt the doping controls then we don’t need them at all. And our sport hast to trust that athletes are taking the responsibility on themselves to keep themselves clean.