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Trial Begins in STT Doping Case

The main trial proceedings in the Finnish Ski Association doping case began on Wednesday at the Helsinki District Court.

Helsingin käräjäoikeus.
Image: YLE

Jari Piirainen, Antti Leppävuori and Pekka Vähäsöyrinki, formerly in leadership positions at the association, as well as Jari Räsänen, a former skier, are facing charges of aggravated fraud.

According to the prosecution, they had lied for financial gain during the 1998 trial of STT news agency journalists who claimed that doping was widespread in Finnish skiing. In 1999, journalist Johanna Aatsalo-Sallinen and editor-in-chief Kari Väisänen received suspended jail sentences and fines for defamation. However, in 2008 comments by the former skiing coach Kari-Pekka Kyrö reopened the case, since they confirmed the journalists' report.

The accused deny all charges, with Räsänen saying that the entire trial is pointless, since he has never taken forbidden substances.

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