Olympic gold medalist Andres Veerpalu, who was partially cleared of doping charges last year, would have been found guilty if norms recently introduced by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had been in force at the time, a daily said.
Postimees reported that the new limits are considered to be ironclad, unlike the past ones, where the statistical model was contested.
The Veerpalu figures, identified as Kit1 and Kit2, were 2.62 and 3.07 for Sample A, and 2.73 and 2.00 for Sample B. The new limits are 1.81 and 1.87. The previous ones were 1.81 and 1.68.
“This is a clear case of doping, although the athlete was cleared in court,” Kristjan Port, the head of the Estonian Anti-Doping Agency told Postimees on Thursday, adding that the Veerpalu's case will not be reopened as the verdict was final.
He said that Veerpalu is in a "no-man's land," and that everyone must make up their own mind whether or not he is guilty, but his agency will ask Veerpalu's coach and medical team where they acquired the banned substance and how it got into the athlete's system.
"In conclusion, the panel noted that there were many factors in this case which tend to indicate that Andrus Veerpalu did in fact himself administer exogenous [human growth hormone], but that, for the reason that procedural flaws have been found in the statistical side of the [World Anti-Doping Agency] studies establishing the decision limits, the violation of the [International Ski Federation] anti-doping rules cannot be upheld on appeal,” WADA said in March.
Veerpalu had challenged the initial ban on four grounds. Among other things, he claimed that the laboratory was not accredited, and that he had a condition which caused his body to produce excess human growth hormone after exercise. In the end, the court upheld his appeal only on the statistical grounds.
In lighter news, Veerpalu announced on Thursday a line of designer sports wear, which he helped clothing company ISC to develop.