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Finnish Ski Association flags cross country doping violations; news conference later Tuesday

The Finnish Ski Association has announced the discovery of doping violations by a cross country skier. The Association has not divulged the name of the athlete, but plans to provide more information at a press conference later Tuesday.

Yleiskuva dopingista
Image: EPA

The Finnish Ski Association says the athlete suspected of doping violations was not a member of Finland’s cross country skiing team at this year’s Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia.

The Association said it will host a press conference on the matter at 3.30 pm Tuesday. Present will be Association head Mika Kulmala and medical director of the Finnish Anti-Doping Agency Timo Seppälä.

Suspect named

Yle Sports has named the doping suspect as four time Finnish cross country champion Tero Similä. The 34-year old has represented Finland in Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy and in four world championship competitions.

Similä’s best finish in a major competition was 13 place in the combined relay event in the 2005 Nordic world championships in Oberstdorf, Germany.

Doping in the sport has been a controversial issue in Finland. Late last year a troika of former athletes received suspended six-month prison sentences for perjury relating to their use of performance enhancing substances.

The Helsinki District Court found that Janne Immonen, Jari Isometsä and Harri Kirvesniemi lied about using prohibited substances and the manipulation of hemoglobin levels. They also claimed to be unaware of doping in Finnish skiing.

The case began back in the 1990s when the Finnish News Agency STT was found guilty of libel for reporting on widespread doping in ski sports.

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