Former olympic and world championship skiing gold medalist Andrus Veerpalu's activities at the recent Estonian cross-country ski championships are being investigated by the international regulatory body, the FIS, ERR's sports portal reports.
As reported on ERR News, Veerpalu, who is subject to a four-year FIS coaching ban following allegations of involvement in ski doping, was seen trackside at the championships in late December. His sons Anlourdees and Anders, who belong to Jõulu Ski Club, were competing in the event.
Veerpalu is forbidden from participating in any team, compettion of activity organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) or Estonia's national sports federation, with the exception of anti-doping training or rehabilitation programs).
In addition, Article 2.10 of the World Anti-Doping Code (WADA) prohibits
"Association by an Athlete or other Person subject to the authority of an Anti-Doping Organization in a professional or sport-related capacity with any Athlete Support Person who:"Association by an Athlete or other Person subject to the authority of an Anti-Doping Organization in a professional or sport-related capacity with any Athlete Support Person who:
2.10.1 If subject to the authority of an Anti-Doping Organization, is serving a period of Ineligibility;"
This means that Veerpalu must not instruct or assist children, including his own, who are skiers.
Estonia's own Anti-Doping Agency (EAD) is also investigating the incident.
According to Norwegian portal Näväisen, the FIS has also begun to investigate the case.
"The FIS is aware of the photos (of Veerpalu at the Estonian Championships - ed.) and is currently investigating whether Veerpalu took part in the competition in an official role," commented Jenny Wiedeke, a spokeswoman for the FIS, it is reported.
In addition to Veerpalu, former ski coach Mati Alaver was also subject to a four-year ban, as were Estonian skiers Andreas Veerpalu (son of Andrus), Karel Tammjärv and Algo Kärp, along with several skiers from other countries, following a swoop by Austrian police at the world championships in Seefeld in late February.
Alaver was sentenced by Harju County Court in November to a one-year suspended prison sentence, with an eighteen-month probation period.
Editor: Andrew Whyte