Andrus Veerpalu

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Andrus Veerpalu
Andrus Veerpalu2013.jpg
Veerpalu in 2013
Full name Andrus Veerpalu
Born (1971-02-08) 8 February 1971 (age 47)
Pärnu, Estonia
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Ski club Jõulu
World Cup career
Seasons 1990–2011
Individual wins 6

Andrus Veerpalu (born 8 February 1971) is a Estonian former cross-country skier. He is Estonia's most successful Winter Olympian, having won the gold medal in men's 15 kilometre classical in 2002 and 2006, and silver in men's 50 kilometre classical in 2002.


On 17 February 2006 Veerpalu won his second Winter Olympics gold medal (in 15 km cross country skiing; his previous gold medal is from the Salt Lake City games), becoming the fourth Estonian to have won two Olympic gold medals (Kristjan Palusalu, Erika Salumäe and Kristina Šmigun-Vähi are the first three). He is the most successful Olympic athlete from Estonia with three medals. (Kristina Šmigun-Vähi tied that record at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics)

Veerpalu has also found success at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, winning a gold at 15 km in 2009 at Liberec, 30 km in 2001 at Lahti and a silver at 50 km in 1999 at Ramsau. He has also won the 50 km event at the Holmenkollen ski festival in 2003 and 2005. Veerpalu also competed in the men's 50 km, Mass Start Classic at the 2010 Winter Olympics, finishing at the 6th place.

Andrus Veerpalu became the oldest world champion in history with his victory at Liberec 2009 on the 15 km classical event. He was then 38 years old.[1] He is also the oldest Olympic champion in individual distance.

Veerpalu earned the Holmenkollen medal in 2005, the first Estonian to do so.

Veerpalu is the fourth athlete to compete in cross-country skiing at six Winter Olympics, after Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi, Harri Kirvesniemi, and Jochen Behle. (Kateřina Neumannová is also a cross-country skier who competed at six Olympics, but one of her appearances was in cycling.)

On 23 February 2011, Veerpalu announced that he will end his professional sportsman career due to a chronic knee injury.[2]

Individual World Cup races

6 wins (6 Individual, 0 Sprint)

Date Location Race
12 March 2005 Norway Oslo 50k
8 January 2005 Estonia Otepää 15k
17 January 2004 Czech Republic Nové Město 15k
13 December 2003 Switzerland Davos 15k
8 March 2003 Norway Oslo 50k
15 February 2003 Italy Asiago 10k

Doping case acquittal

Several months after Veerpalu's retirement it was announced that he had tested positive for HGH (growth hormone), however he had pleaded innocent in HGH treatment. Estonian biochemistry doctors explained that the verdict was untimely and that there was no reliable method to distinguish artificial HGH from natural background hormone.[3][4][5] Veerpalu appealed the test result to the FIS.[6] The FIS antidoping commission found Veerpalu guilty and extended his ban to three years, due to Veerpalu's team's lack of co-operation with FIS.[7] A group of top Estonian biochemists investigated the matter and insist Veerpalu was a false positive.[8][9] The Court of Arbitration for Sport acquitted Veerpalu, lifted his doping ban and ordered the FIS to pay a part of Veerpalu's court costs on 25 March 2013.[10]
The court stated "that there are many factors in this case which tend to indicate that the Athlete did in fact himself administer exogenous hGH" but found that the decision limit, the threshold for considering the result an adverse analytical finding, was not sufficiently reliable to uphold the doping conviction.[11] Krista Fischer, a senior researcher for the Estonian Genome Center, questioned what these unexplained factors hinted at by CAS could be: "So what were these factors? Right now the only numbers that seem to hint at doping are the same four numbers that have been ruled invalid."[12]

Personal life

He is married to Angela Veerpalu and they have five children: Andreas (b. 1994), Anette (b. 1996), Anders (b. 2002), Anlourdees (b. 2006) and Andorres (b. 2011).

See also


  1. ^ article on Veerpalu's victory.[permanent dead link] – accessed 1 March 2009.
  2. ^ "Veerpalu Retires from Skiing On Eve of World Championships". ERR. Estonian Public Broadcasting. 2011-02-23. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  3. ^ Erik Rand. "Doktor Laasik: Veerpalu dopinguproovi tulemustes võib kahelda" [Doctor Laasik: One may doubt in the results of Veerpalu's doping test] (in Estonian). Eesti Päevaleht. 
  4. ^ Priit Luts, Oliver Kahu. "Biokeemik: tehis- ja loomulikku hormooni on raske eristada" [Biochemist: Artificial and natural hormone is difficult to distinguish]. Eesti Rahvusringhääling. Archived from the original on 2011-04-11. 
  5. ^ Tartu Ülikooli professor: Veerpalu dopingupatuseks nimetamine on ennatlik (Professor of the University of Tartu: It is untimely to condemn Veerpalu as guilty in doping) Eesti Päevaleht
  6. ^ "Vandeadvokaat: vajadusel läheme arbitraažikohtusse" [Attorney: If necessary, we will to go to the Court of Arbitration]. Eesti Rahvusringhääling. Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Alaveri jätkamine peatreenerina sõltub FISi otsusest (Alaver's resumption as head coach depends on FIS's decision). Postimees
  9. ^ "Veerpalu kaitsev teadlane kritiseerib dopingutesti usutavust" (in Estonian). Postimees. 
  10. ^ CAS issues decision in the case of Veerpalu International Ski Federation
  11. ^ Andrus Veerpalu v International Ski Federation (CAS 2013). Text
  12. ^ "NFL Players 'Hail' Veerpalu Verdict". Estonian Public Broadcasting. 2013-03-27. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 

External links

  • Andrus Veerpalu at the International Ski Federation
  • Holmenkollen medalists at the Wayback Machine (archived February 24, 2007) – click Holmenkollmedaljen for downloadable pdf file (in Norwegian)
  • Holmenkollen winners since 1892 at the Wayback Machine (archived February 24, 2007) – click Vinnere for downloadable pdf file (in Norwegian)
  • "Andrus Veerpalu". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. 
  • 13. June 2012, Veerpalu Court Hearing Ends Today, Estonian Public Broadcasting News
  • 28. August 2012, Veerpalu Appeal Decision Delayed, Estonian Public Broadcasting News
  • 28. February 2013, Judgement Day for Veerpalu Doping Case: Result Expected Shortly, Estonian Public Broadcasting News
  • 28. February 2013, Decision in Veerpalu Doping Case Postponed, The ruling will now come on March 25, ETV reported, Estonian Public Broadcasting News
  • Lausanne, 1 March 2013, Court of Arbitration for Sport: VEERPALU/FIS CASE: DECISION POSTPONED TO 25 MARCH 2013
  • Estonian Public Broadcasting: 25. March 2013, Veerpalu Decision Expected (Again)
  • 26.03.2013, The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS): CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING - CASE VEERPALU/ FIS: APPEAL UPHELD,
  • FIS-Ski: CAS issues decision in the case of Veerpalu,
  • Lausanne, 26 March 2013, The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) MEDIA RELEASE, CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING, CASE VEERPALU/FIS
  • CAS 2011/A/2566 Andrus Veerpalu v. International Ski Federation, ARBITRAL AWARD
Preceded by
Erki Nool
Estonian Male Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
Erki Nool
Preceded by
Erki Nool
Estonian Male Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
Andrus Värnik
Preceded by
Andrus Värnik
Estonian Male Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
Gerd Kanter
Preceded by
Gerd Kanter
Estonian Male Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
Nikolai Novosjolov

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