7th January 2020

Four-Year Suspensions of three Cross-Country skiers and one staff

On 2nd January 2020, the Independent Doping Delegate issued four Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRVs) decisions to the following three athletes: Karel Tammjärv (EST), Andreas Veerpalu (EST) and Alexey Poltoranin (KAZ), as well as to athlete support person) Mati Alaver (EST). All have been sanctioned with a four-year suspension based on FIS Anti-Doping Rules (FIS ADR) article 2.2 Use of a prohibited substance/method, namely blood doping and article 2.9 Complicity.

The sanctions are subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within 21 days. None of the four persons requested a Hearing and consequently the decisions were based on FIS ADR article 7.10 Resolution without a Hearing.

The cases are related to the raids that were carried out in Seefeld (AUT) on 27th February 2019 by the Austrian police supported by the German police under its national criminal law for doping. The authorities stated that the arrests were part of a wide, long-term, investigation into a doping operation run by German Sports doctor Dr. Mark Schmidt involving multiple sports, “on suspicion of commercial sport fraud and the use of illicit substances and methods of doping purposes”.

In accordance with the FIS Anti-Doping Rules the above-mentioned athletes were provisionally suspended with immediate effect from 1st March 2019, and Alaver with 28th August 2019. The cases were then referred to the Independent Doping Delegate in accordance with FIS Anti-Doping Regulations’ protocol, who issued the four-year suspension.

The disciplinary cases against athlete Algo Kärp (EST) who confessed having received blood doping treatments, and athlete support person Andrus Veerpalu (EST) who denies involvement in the doping scheme, are still pending. Both are currently provisionally suspended.

• This media release was published by the international ski federation (FIS) on 7 January 2020. Click here for the original. 

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