Alaver lawyer: No official notification Austrian investigation terminated

Aivar Pilv
Aivar Pilv Source: ERR

Former ski trainer Mati Alaver's lawyer, Aivar Pilv, says he has not received official notification that the Austrian prosecutor's office has closed its case investigating his client, ERR's sports portal reports.

Pilv told ERR Monday afternoon that he heard about the development in the media and would need official confirmation.

"I await an accurate and clear answer," Pilv said, when asked if Alaver was the subject of any procedure in any other country, apart from Estonia and Austria.

 "As I have said before, to our knowledge, the Seefeld case is under investigation in Germany. But to what extent? Who is carrying it out? This is not known exactly, only via the media. Therefore, I cannot comment on the extent to which the German procedure could affect Mati Alaver," Pilv went on.

Hansjörg Mayr of the Insbruck prosecutor's office in Austria told ERR on Monday that the investigation had been wound up since a court judgment has entered into force in Estonia.

In a closed-door hearing on Nov. 15, Harju County Court handed Alaver a one-year suspended prison sentence, with an eighteen-month probation period, following an agreement entered into with the prosecutor's office, though Alaver neither pleaded guilty to nor appealed the court decision.

 According to the indictment, Alaver had repeatedly informed athletes about doping at unidentified times and places, arguing that without using the substances, the skier would not be on an equal footing with others competitors.

Together with coach and former ski champion Andrus Veerpalu, as well as the three Estonian skiers accused of doping following a swoop by Austrian and German police on Feb. 27 at the world skiing championships in Seefeld, Austria, Alaver was also hit with a four-year coaching ban by the FIS, the international ski governing body.

The Austrian development is also significant, ERR reports, since the continuing investigation in that country was the reason Harju County Court gave for declining to grant the media access to Alaver's criminal file.

A criminal investigation had also been underway in Germany following the incident; Alaver admitted in March that he had been in contact with German sports physician Mark Schmidt, who had allegedly supplied at least one of the three Estonian skiers involved, Karel Tammjärv, with doping substances.

The original ERR Sport piece (in Estonian) including video clip interview with Aivar Pilv is here.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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