Andrus Veerpalu

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Andrus Veerpalu
Andrus Veerpalu2013.jpg
Veerpalu in 2013
Full nameAndrus Veerpalu
Born (1971-02-08) 8 February 1971 (age 49)
Pärnu, Estonia
Height1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Ski clubJõulu
World Cup career
Individual wins6
Indiv. podiums11

Andrus Veerpalu (born 8 February 1971) is a retired Estonian 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]

Doping case acquittal[edit]

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]

World Cup results[edit]

All results are sourced from the International Ski Federation (FIS).[13]

Individual podiums[edit]

  • 6 victories
  • 11 podiums
No. Season Date Location Race Level Place
1  1998–99  28 February 1999 Austria Ramsau, Austria 50 km Individual C World Championships[1] 2nd
2  2002–03  12 January 2003 Estonia Otepää, Estonia 30 km Mass Start C World Cup 3rd
3 15 February 2003 Italy Asiago, Italy 10 km Individual C World Cup 1st
4 8 March 2003 Norway Oslo, Norway 50 km Individual C World Cup 1st
5 2003–04 13 December 2003 Switzerland Davos, Switzerland 15 km Individual C World Cup 1st
6 16 December 2003 Italy Val di Fiemme, Italy 1.2 km Sprint C World Cup 3rd
7 17 January 2004 Czech Republic Nové Město, Czech Republic 15 km Individual C World Cup 1st
8 16 December 2003 Finland Lahti, Finland 15 km Individual C World Cup 3rd
9 2004–05 8 January 2005 Estonia Otepää, Estonia 15 km Individual C World Cup 1st
10 12 March 2005 Norway Oslo, Norway 50 km Individual C World Cup 1st
11  2009–10  16 January 2010 Estonia Otepää, Estonia 15 km Individual C World Cup 2nd

Note: 1 Until the 1999 World Championships, World Championship races were included in the World Cup scoring system.

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Angela Veerpalu and they have five children.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ article on Veerpalu's victory. – accessed 1 March 2009.
  2. ^ "Veerpalu Retires from Skiing On Eve of World Championships". ERR. Estonian Public Broadcasting. 23 February 2011. 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. Archived from the original on 10 April 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
  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 11 April 2011.
  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) Archived 12 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine Eesti Päevaleht
  6. ^ "VIDEO: Vandeadvokaat Aivar Pilv: vajadusel lähme arbitraažikohtusse" [Attorney Aivar Pilv: If necessary, we will to go to the Court of Arbitration]. 7 April 2011.
  7. ^ "FIS otsustas: Andrus Veerpalu on süüdi". Eesti Päevaleht. 23 August 2011.
  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. 27 March 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  13. ^ "Athlete : Veerpalu Andrus". FIS-Ski. International Ski Federation. Retrieved 14 March 2018.

External links[edit]

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