Wrestler released from temporary competition ban

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Heiki Nabi.
Heiki Nabi. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

On Tuesday, the Estonian Olympic Committee (EOK) revoked the temporary ban imposed on wrestler Heiki Nabi after the wrestler tested positive letrozole, a performance-enhancing drug, in February.

The Estonian Anti-Doping Agency board decided on Tuesday to lift the ban for the investigation period, allowing Nabi to train during proceedings in his doping case are ongoing.

Heiki Nabi said he was notified of the ban being lifted on Tuesday evening. "I am now allowed to train and compete, I could not do that earlier. Now everything is allowed as it was before," the 2012 olympic silver medalist said.

Nabi tested positive for letrozole, a performance-enhancing drug prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency, in February. In April, the wrestler opened the test's B sample, which also turned out positive. Nabi and his lawyer, Paul Keres, have stated earlier that the amount of letrozole in the sample is extremely small, 0.6 ng per ml.

"I think the committee (EOK's disciplinary board - ed) has perhaps seen the other side now, that it is completely possible to give these samples on accidental exposure or any other kind of contamination. There is not always an awareness of consumption. I have the impression that the [Estonian Anti-Doping Agency] only sees it as conscious consumption and nothing else is possible. They could see the other side of the coin," Nabi told ERR.

The two-time world champion said he will continue to prepare for the Tokyo Summer Olympics in July August, although getting back in shape is a difficult task, stemming from the long break.

"My training has been whatever I have been able to do outdoors and in the weight room. I have never had a training break as long as this during my career as I have had now due to this situation. When we can begin on the mat, we must be able to get the most important feel as fast as possible. My back is against the wall," Nabi said.

"It (Tokyo Olympics - ed) has been my goal and I see no reason to drop it for something I have not done. I must solve this situation somehow, but I know that I am in no way knowingly involved with the development of the situation. Of course, I will not give up and I will fight to participate and get myself in shape," the wrestler said.

He added that he hopes to soon travel to a training camp. Since the Estonian has found plenty of support in the wrestling community, he does not think finding a camp will be too tough a task.

"Many trainers in neighboring countries have expressed compassion that I have to deal with this situation and that this situation has even developed. They are certainly on my side and I have not heard of [anyone not offering training camps]. The communication has been as before," Nabi concluded.

Editor's note: This article was updated with Nabi's comments.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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