President strips ski coach Mati Alaver of state decorations

Mati Alaver.
Mati Alaver. Source: Siim Semiskar/ERR Sport

With a decision issued by President Kersti Kaljulaid, Estonian ski coach Mati Alaver will be stripped of two state decorations in connection with the recent doping scandal.

Mr Alaver will have to return an Order of Merit of the Estonian Red Cross, Fourth Class bestowed to him in 2001 and an Order of Merit of the White Star, Third Class bestowed to him in 2006, the Office of the President of the Republic said in a statement issued on Monday.

According to the Decorations Act, the President of the Republic may decide to withdraw a decoration when the subsequent conduct of the holder has been inappropriate to an extent that would preclude bestowal of the decoration upon that holder.

The board of the Estonian Ski Association has decided to submit to the Prosecutor's Office a report of a criminal offence in connection with Mr Alaver.

In an interview with ERR, Mr Alaver confirmed that he had given skier Karel Tammjärv contact information for German sports doctor Mark Schmidt, but denied allegations that he had tolerated the use of doping.

"This has been the biggest mistake of my life, and I sincerely regret it," he said.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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