Having come to light last week, the information concerning the extensive doping network in which several people associated with Estonian cross-country skiing were also involved, was outrageous. Cheating violates the rules of fair sportsmanship which we hold dear, and cheaters have no place in sport. We resolutely condemn doping use, facilitation of doping use and the Estonians’ involvement in it.
It is all the more regrettable that a member of the NOC Executive Board was involved in violating the rules of fair play and in doping. We have submitted a proposal to the NOC plenary to remove Mati Alaver from the NOC Executive Board and to divest him and Andrus Veerpalu of their status as the members of the NOC. We are also instructing the NOC Coach Professional Qualification Committee to revoke both men’s coach qualification certificates and will be stripping them of NOC decorations.
Regardless of the existence of individual cheaters, we believe that fair elite sport is not only an option, but the only option. We assure that elite sport as a whole is clean and, although cheaters cause a massive outcry, these are isolated incidents and rare exceptions, not examples of a rule. We would like to express sincere respect and reverence towards all athletes, coaches and sports organisations playing fair and holding the noble fundamental principles of sport in high regard.
The NOC Executive Board is of the following opinions:
• The NOC Executive Board has suggested that the Ministry of Justice and the Prosecutor’s Office in cooperation with the Estonian Olympic Committee analyse the option of heavier penalties for doping-related violations and resort to such option if necessary. The suggestion primarily concerns acts related to the mediation of doping substances and methods as well as deliberate doping use.
• The NOC Executive Board has suggested that the Ministry of Culture analyse the necessity to amend the Estonian Sport Act in relation to doping-related violations.
• To increase support of the Estonian Anti-Doping Agency in order to significantly expand anti-doping activities, focusing primarily on prevention and additional testing.
The Executive Board of the Estonian Olympic Committee