Three MPs, all of them Olympic medal winners, have protested against ERR's decision to name the clearing of Andrus Veerpalu of doping charges as a candidate for the 'Sports Event of the Year.'
“Taking into account the content of the [Court of Arbitration for Sport] decision, the nature of stated suspicion, and the didactic value and coverage, we regard the adding of the event to the list of nominees out of place and we ask for it to be removed,” the MPs said in a letter to ERR chief executive Margus Allikmaa, Postimees reported today.
Erki Nool, one of the three MPs, said that he has nothing personally against Veerpalu, but added that ERR and the Estonian Olympic Committee should reexamine what kind of message they are sending to the public. Nool said that the ruling against the skier was written as to leave doubt whether Veerpalu was completely innocent.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Veerpalu was acquitted of doping charges by the international court in March, but court officials said in the decision that they still suspect the cross-country skier of breaking doping rules.
The other candidates for the award are the two fencing world championship gold medals, the national basketball team securing a berth in the European Championships, and Estonia versus the Netherlands football game, which ended 2-2.