Paper: Veerpalu's trackside actions bothering skiers ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Andrus Veerpalu in Seefeld.
Andrus Veerpalu in Seefeld. Source: Andres Putting/Delfi

The Estonian Anti-Doping Agency (EAD) is investigating skier and ski coach Andrus Veerpalu's trackside actions at his children's ski competitions and will be submitting its observations to the anti-doping ethics committee for consideration, as according to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) codex, Veerpalu is prohibited from training his skier children, and behavior suggesting as much is bothering other skiers, writes daily Eesti Päevaleht.

Veerpalu is currently subject to a competitive ban by the International Ski Federation (FIS) for breaking doping rules, but is can nonetheless be found trackside — most recently last Saturday at the Estonian championships — ski poles in hand, leaving the impression of a skier's assistant. Competing in the championships were his children Anlourdees and Anders, who belong to Jõulu Ski Club, EPL writes (link in Estonian).

Section 11.10.1 of Estonia's anti-doping rules, however, states that no athlete or other individual who is subject to a competitive ban may, for the duration of this ban, participate in any way, shape or form in any International Olympic Committee (IOC) or national sport federation team, competition or activity (with the exception of approved anti-doping training or rehabilitation programs).

"This is bad news, yes," admitted EAD board member Henn Vallimäe. "We've been sent tips as well as an official complaint about Veerpalu's actions. Skiers and clubs are very much bothered [by them], to put it lightly."

Section 2.10 of WADA's codex likewise bans athletes from being tied to individuals subject to a competitive ban, which means that Veerpalu should not be coaching or helping his skier children, because if he does, then they will be the ones to be punished.

"First we will gather evidence and investigate whether Veerpalu was acting as an assistant or was simply a spectator at these competitions," Vallimäe explained.

"As we are prosecutors as such, we will submit our materials to the Estonian anti-doping ethics committee, and they will make a decision," he said, adding that the forbidden connection of Veerpalu's children with an individual subject to an anti-doping related ban would not yet be up for discussion this time.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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