Mati Alaver did not participate in the doping scheme only out of self-interest, he also felt proud when Estonians achieved something, President of the Estonian Olympic Committee (EOK) Urmas Sõõrumaa told Vikerraadio's "Uudis+" program.
Sõõrumaa said in light of Mati Alaver's recently opened case files that one needs to remain civil and that doping control systems should be rendered more effective in Estonia.
The EOK president added that while it would be easy to say that everyone else also engages in doping, doping cannot make winners out of mediocre athletes.
"I believe that Mati Alaver, despite of what he did in his life, was not only after his personal ego; I'm sure he enjoyed it when the blue, black and white flowed in the wind and the national anthem was playing," Sõõrumaa opined.
Exceptions needed for sport during coronavirus period
Sõõrumaa said that athletes train for the Olympics for 15-20 years and postponing the Tokyo games will not change that.
"The athlete and the entire system cannot just flick a switch. We all believe the coronavirus is not the end of the world," the EOK head said.
Sõõrumaa believes that organizing international sporting events in Estonia also during the coronavirus period is important as they give Estonian athletes a slight edge.
"Sport definitely needs an exception as it is perhaps different from other economic sectors. You cannot just apply for a year's payment holiday and then see what will happen in sports."
The Estonian Olympic Committee is asking €7 million from the 2021 state budget to, among other things, develop projects such as Team Estonia and athletic schools.
"Everything is possible if we have our health," Sõõrumaa said in terms of why it is important to support sporting activities.
Editor: Marcus Turovski