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Ex-Director Admits Ski Association Bought Blood Thinner

The former Director of Cross-Country Skiing for the Finnish Ski Association has admitted that the organisation bought blood-thinning substances for members of the Finnish national team at the 2001 World Championships. After the games held in Lahti, six Finns were determined to have used illicit doping techniques. The team was stripped of three medals, causing deep outrage in a country where cross-country skiing has long been virtually a national sport. Antti Leppävuori's revelation to YLE yesterday backed up a claim made a day earlier by former national team head coach Kari-Pekka Kyrö that the Ski Association bought a blood plasma expander known as Hemohes for athletes. Leppävuori says the substance was still legal when it was bought, but was declared illegal shortly before the games. The latest revelations could result in new legal action concerning old doping allegations. For instance, the Finnish News Agency STT was convicted of defamation in 1998 for accusing skiers of using illicit doping techniques. YLE

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