Only Šmigun-Vähi Under Suspicion, Says EOC

Siim Sukles (Postimees/Scanpix)
2/7/2014 12:10 PM
Category: Sports

Estonian Olympic Committee Secretary General Siim Sukles said the International Olympic Committee (IOC) only suspects one Estonian athlete of doping at the 2006 Turin games, confirming that the person is Kristiina Šmigun-Vähi.

“On December 5 (2013) we received a letter from the IOC that spoke of the Turin development and they asked us to forward the letter to the athlete, which we did,” Sukles told uudised.err.ee today.

He said that no information on a second athlete has reached the EOC.

A Russian sports website said on Wednesday that either one or two Estonian cross-country skiers have failed a re-testing of a 2006 blood sample, but said it did not have the name or names of the athletes.

Šmigun-Vähi, who won two gold medals at the games in Italy, issued a statement yesterday, saying the doping authorities suspect her of using banned substances. She then emotionally denied any wrongdoing.

Kirstjan Port, the head of the Estonian Anti-Doping Agency, told Delfi today that Šmigun-Vähi's statement could be a strategic move, but he does not see why she should defend herself against rumors.

He said that the new findings do not automatically mean that she is guilty, adding that doping authorities have made great strides in developing testing methods, that is the reason for re-testing the samples.

Andres Veerpalu, who also won a gold medal at the Turin Olympics, had been the prime suspect, as he recently was controversially cleared of doping charges by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The head of WADA said on Wednesday that Veerpalu's case would be reopened.


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