Anti-Doping Agency to Open Investigation, Doctor Claims Businessman Was Complicit
Sports doctor Vitali Bernatski has revealed the motivation behind his claim that he supplied many Estonian athletes with the banned substance EPO.
Elaborating on his admission first made to a daily Monday, Bernatski told ETV on Tuesday that he has a list of athletes to whom he supplied erythropoietin between 1995 and 2007, but will name the names only if businessman Margus Kübar, who Bernatski said brought the athletes to him, does not return two apartments to him.
He said that two properties belonging to his daughter were seized by Kübar after she failed to repay a business loan given by the businessman.
Kübar has denied involvement in the drug scandal. He told Postimees that he did not give either Bernatski or his daughter a loan, but merely helped the doctor find the person who did lend the money.
The Estonian Anti-Doping Agency has said it will begin an investigation even if Bernatski retracts his accusations.
Speaking on ETV, Kristjan Port, an agency board member, said that his organization itself has a list of accused athletes, but plans to speak to the journalist who wrote the Eesti Päevaleht article in which Bernatski made his accusations and with the doctor himself before revealing any names.
As the alleged doping took place more than five years ago, no criminal charges can be brought against the athletes, but other forms of punishment such as stripping of honors, could be administered.