Former Olympic champ Andrus Veerpalu hit with two-year ban

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Andrus Veerpalu Source: Siim Semiskar/ERR SPORT

The international Court of Arbitration for Sport's (CAS) anti-doping department found two-time Olympic gold medalist Andrus Veerpalu to be guilty of participation in an organized doping scheme and imposed a two-year competition ban on the former skier.

According to the International Ski Federation (FIS), Veerpalu violated their anti-doping rules, helping mediate and conceal the use of prohibited substances. Veerpalu cannot act as participant or trainer in any FIS events until March 17 2023. The skier did not appeal the court's decision.

At the end of February in 2019, a scandal broke out at the Seefeld Ski Championships in Austria, after police detained five athletes on suspicion of receiving illegal blood transfusion for the purpose of enhancing performances, during the sting operation termed "Operation Bloodletting".

Notorious German doping doctor Mark Schmidt mediated illegal blood transfusions through long-time Estonian national team coach Mati Alaver with Andrus Veerpalu also playing a key role in the doping ring, which also involved a Kazakh skier.

An Innsbruck-based prosecutor's office accused Andrus Veerpalu of aiding and abetting in sports fraud as the Estonian stood by as an athlete and Schmidt engaged in blood doping in Veerpalu's hotel room. Veerpalu's court case has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

For more info, read ERR News' coverage here.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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