Andrus Veerpalu

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Andrus Veerpalu
Andrus Veerpalu2013.jpg
Born (1971-02-08)8 February 1971
Pärnu, Estonia
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Ski club Jõulu
World Cup career
Seasons 1990–2011
Individual wins 6
Updated on 22 March 2011.

Andrus Veerpalu (born 8 February 1971 in Pärnu) is a former and so far the most successful Estonian male cross country skier.


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 deemed invalid by the ruling."[12]

Personal life

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

See also


  1. article on Veerpalu's victory. – 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Erik Rand. "Doktor Laasik: Veerpalu dopinguproovi tulemustes võib kahelda" (in Estonian). Eesti Päevaleht. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Priit Luts, Oliver Kahu. "Biokeemik: tehis- ja loomulikku hormooni on raske eristada". Eesti Rahvusringhääling. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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". Eesti Rahvusringhääling. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Preceded by
Erki Nool
Estonian Sportsman of the Year
Succeeded by
Erki Nool
Preceded by
Erki Nool
Estonian Sportsman of the Year
Succeeded by
Andrus Värnik
Preceded by
Andrus Värnik
Estonian Sportsman of the Year
Succeeded by
Gerd Kanter
Preceded by
Gerd Kanter
Estonian Sportsman of the Year
Succeeded by
Nikolai Novosjolov