TALLINN - Dr. Vitali Bernatski of Tartu claims that he has injected or given doping substances to many Estonian athletes, and that from 1995-2007 well-known Estonian track and field athletes were among his clients; the Estonian Olympic Committee and Estonian Anti-doping Agency will launch an investigation, reports Eesti Paevaleht.
Bernatski, a sports medicine doctor who has operated a medical rehabilitation center in Tartu since 1991, claimed that use of doping substances was customary among athletes in those times. Bernatski claimed that the substances he injected or handed out were genotropin, or growth hormone, and Recormon, or erythropoietin or EPO, which are both substances banned for use by athletes.
Eesti Paevaleht didn’t reveal the names of the athletes or coaches involved, but has talked to all of the persons mentioned by Bernatski. All denied any association with doping.
The author of the article, Kart Anvelt, said on national television during ETV’s morning program on Tuesday that Eesti Paevaleht doesn’t have any evidence – at least Bernatski didn’t present them with any evidence – that the users of the doping substances could have included Olympic winners. “Olympic winners, I think, are quite certainly not involved in that story. They are clean,” Anvelt said.
Estonian Olympic Committee president Neinar Seli said that the position of the EOC is clear: there is no place for doping in sports.
Seli said that the topic will be discussed with EOC leaders as well as the Estonian anti-doping agency SA Antidoping, and most likely the best solution would be to form a committee to investigate the details.
“On the one hand, there is the behavior of an unethical doctor, the other side is how many so-called specialists there are among us who poison honest sports with the ‘knowledge’ from that doctor. Thus, turning to law enforcement institutions cannot be ruled out either,” said Seli.