Estonian Veerpalu tests positive

Thu, 07 Apr 15:15:00 2011

Estonia's twice Olympic 15km cross-country ski champion Andrus Veerpalu tested positive for a banned growth hormone, the Estonian Ski Association said.

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Veerpalu, 40, retired from the sport just before the world nordic skiing championships in Oslo in February, igniting speculation that there was more to his decision to retire other than his chronic knee problems and his age.

Veerpalu's A and B samples taken after a race in Otepaa, Estonia on January 29 showed a higher than permitted level of a growth hormone, Estonian Ski Association doctor Juri Laasik said.

Laasik said the result of the B sample was unofficial.

Veerpalu denied taking a banned substance.

"I want to declare before you all that I'm have not used any banned substances, both outside of or in competitions. All my best results were achieved by a big and tenacious effort," Veerpalu said.

Veerpalu won Olympic gold at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games and again in Torino four years later.

Doping : Veerpalu tested p

Reuters

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