Investigative reporting by NordicSkiRacer.com has uncovered several scandals, sure to rock the Michigan Cup this season. Curiously, all teams are implicated except Team NordicSkiRacer. Read on for the latest news...
Grayling, MI - The U.S. District Attorney's Office in Bay City, MI has announced the Hanson Hills/Cross Country Ski Shop (HH/CCSS) was found with mass quantities of synthetic Erythropoietin, commonly known as EPO. The Attorney's Office prosecutor is working with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in the investigation. The shipment, which originated in Russia, is the largest ever seized in the state of Michigan. Although no athletes have tested positive at this time, a report obtained by NordicSkiRacer.com contains names and address of multiple HH/CCSS athletes who were to receive the EPO.
Allegedly, HH/CCSS members were heard muttering "This is the last time Team NordicSkiRacer will beat us in the Michigan Cup..." after last season's Michigan Cup Relays. It is unclear if this is related to the current scandal.
The Attorney's Office stated they expect to hand out two-year bans to as many as 12 athletes. WADA has pledged to increase presence at this year's Michigan Cup races and plan to test skiers at random throughout the season.
Higgins Lake, MI - The Cross Country Ski Headquarters (XC Ski HQ) has long dominated the Michigan Cup team scores by having the largest turnout throughout the season. This has long been attributed to aggressive sales tactics by XC Ski HQ to get new skiers on the circuit. However, WikiLeaks has released emails between XC Ski HQ captains Frank Rynalski and Bob Frye revealing an elaborate bib switching scheme to boost team points on race weekends. Over the past four seasons, XC Ski HQ has been registering their athletes under multiple names and layering their bibs during races. After crossing the finish line, athletes were instructed to ski back out on course, remove their visible bib to reveal a second bib, change hats, then cross the finish line a second time. It is unknown exactly how many skier were doubling up at races. Phone calls to the Ski Headquarters seeking comment were not immediately returned.
Grand Rapids, MI - Homes of several members of the Grand Rapids Nordic Ski Team (GRNST) were raided today by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. The Agency uncovered quantities of Gallium, a popular additive in ski wax for wet snow, in excess of 1kg. Additional vials of illegally imported Highly Fluorinated wax with an estimated street value of $100,000 were unearthed at GRNST member homes. When questioned about the wax, believed to have come in through border tunnels in Mexico to circumvent taxes, GRNST skier Steve Smigiel, Jr. responded "I've never seen this wax before in my life. I don't even need Galvenium or Gelatin or whatever it is to win."
Cheboygan, MI - With support from INTERPOL, a recent sting found U.S. Ski Pole Company owner and founder Andy Liebner has been colluding with the Straights Striders team to produce adjustable length classic poles in secret. The special poles are designed to look like "normal" ski poles but with the ability to increase length after passing ski pole measurement controls. The poles are undoubtedly designed with the explicit purpose of violating the new FIS rule limiting classic ski pole length to 83% of body height.
Details about arrests made in this case are not available at press time, although police cars were reportedly seen outside Striders skier and double poling powerhouse Denny Paull's home. The USSPC has released the following statement: "We at USSPC are committed to producing the highest quality poles for customers. This includes being leaders in development of new technologies. The notion that our adjustable length poles have malicious intent does not align with the core values of our company. Our only focus is to clear our name so we can get back to producing world class ski poles right here in Michigan."
Traverse City, MI - Snow bikes, also known as "fat bikes," have recently surpassed cyclocross bikes as the leading cause of divorce among cyclists who promised their wives they would stop purchasing new bikes. Traverse City is at the center of this trend, and many VASA ski team members are reportedly trading skis for 6-inch wide tires. One VASA skier and Michigan Cup regular, speaking on condition of anonymity due to tension between snow bikers and skiers, has stated that the team is planning to "boycott the Michigan Cup until a Snow Bike division is added at all races. It's time we starting focusing on true winter sports again." North American VASA Race Director Doug Dowdy has stated the organizing committee will "remove all skiing divisions at the VASA until snow bike equality is reached throughout Michigan."