Public reaction has been furious over the scandal surrounding a Finnish skier who is being investigated for doping. One newspaper has sworn not to cover any more skiing events.
Fellow skiers have expressed their shock that a Finn would use banned substances after the 2001 doping scandal rocked the country and shattered public confidence in its skiers.
“I believed that the events in Lahti were such a hard lesson that the message would have been clear – but apparently it wasn’t,” Minister of Culture Kaarina Dromberg told the newspaper Iltalehti.
The second-largest domestic newspaper Ilta-Sanomat announced on Saturday that it would no longer report on any cross-country ski competitions. The newspaper said that this latest doping case was a “shocking stupidity that was impossible to justify.”
EPO-hormone Use Suspected
Several media have reported the athlete under suspicion to be Kaisa Varis, but the Finnish Ski Association won't publicise the identity until it gets the results of a second blood test.
The newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reports that the B-sample is being screened for the EPO-hormone, which increases the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream, thereby improving athletic performance.
If it is Varis who has been caught, the women's relay team will have to give up its silver medal which it won almost a week ago. Varis was part of the four-member team.