Veerpalu Court Hearing Ends Today (1)
Today the doping case of Estonia's two-time Olympic winner, Andrus Veerpalu, entered its last day at the Court of Arbitration for Sports, in Lausanne, Switzerland.
ERR radio reported that one of the main topics under dispute in the three-day court session has been the handling, preserving and transporting of doping samples by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Ski Association (FIS).
FIS representatives have been quoted in German media saying that Veerpalu’s team has no chance of putting the doping control methods in doubt.
The FIS testified, however, that some WADA guidelines for handling doping tests were not closely followed in Veerpalu's case. According to the association, a number of points in the regulations use the word “recommended,” which is why it is permitted to, for instance, preserve a doping test a couple of hours longer than advised.
The Estonian delegation argues that it is necessary to follow the directions precisely to reduce the risk of samples testing as false positives.
In mid-February of last year, WADA found a higher-than-permitted level of growth hormone in Veerpalu’s sample and the positive test results were confirmed in a B-sample almost two months later.
Although the FIS is represented at the court by a heavy artillery of experts and scientists, the court is still actively interested in the arguments of the Estonian delegation, said Veerpalu's attorney, Aivar Pilve.
Introducing new information is not possible at this stage of the hearing, said Pilv, adding that the court has made a number of comments to the FIS as they had failed to provide all of the information prior to the hearing, thereby infringing the rights of the appellant.
A ruling on the case is expected within a few weeks.