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Estonian gold medalist denies Olympic doping claims

Feb 07, 2014
From wire reports, TALLINN

Estonian gold medalist denies Olympic doping claims
Kristina Šmigun-Vähi denies using illegal substances to enhance her performances (photo: wikipedia)

Two-time Olympic medalist Kristina Šmigun-Vähi, announced on Thursday that she has never used performance enhancing drugs and that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is leaking unverified information about her testing history.

On Thursday, the Russian news portal, Ves Sport, wrote that the tests of one or two Estonian cross-country skiers at the Torino Olympic Games in 2006 tested positive for doping, in a repeat testing by the IOC.

Ves Sport claim that most likely the skiers were Estonian skiing legends Andrus Veerpalu and Kristina Šmigun-Vähi who won gold medals in Torino. The portal said that the corresponding data will be made public after the Sochi Olympics.

Šmigun-Vähi made a statement Thursday evening saying that two months ago, she was informed that during the new analysis of tests taken on Feb. 12-16, 2006 during the Torino Olympic Games, her A-test did not test positive for forbidden substances, reports LETA.

However, it allegedly contained molecules via which a suspicion of using a forbidden substance had been derived.

"All these tests were analyzed thoroughly eight years ago and they all confirmed one thing – I have not used forbidden substances. All these tests, each one of them, were clean. They had to be since I have never used a forbidden substance," Šmigun-Vähi said in the statement.

Šmigun-Väghi added that since the thorough analysis of B tests hadn’t been completed, there wouldn’t be any official accusation until after the games in Sochi.

The athlete added that she had voluntarily taken and passed a lie detector test conducted by a certified international expert bureau.

"Among other questions, I answered ‘no’ to the question: ‘have you ever used forbidden substances that would improve your athletic abilities?’, and ‘Have you ever used or consumed any kind of steroids?’. The lie detector confirmed that I told the truth during the whole test. This is the best that I can do in today's situation," she said.

Šmigun-Vähi told Estonian public television ETV on Thursday evening, that it is regrettable that the IOC had leaked information that has no firm basis. 

"I have not used forbidden substances, I will fight till the end for the truth," she said.

Kristina Šmigun-Vähi, 37 is a former cross-country skier. On 12 February 2006 in Torino, she won the gold medal for the 7.5 km + 7.5 km double pursuit. Four days later, she won a second gold medal in the 10 km classical. On Feb. 2010, she won her third Olympic medal: a silver in the 10 km freestyle race.

With two golds and one silver, Kristina Šmigun-Vähi is the most successful Estonian athlete in Olympic history (summer or winter), tying the record of men's cross-country skier Andrus Veerpalu. 

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