|Full name||Mika Kristian Myllylä|
September 12, 1969|
|Died||July 5, 2011
|Ski club||Joutsan Pommi|
|World Cup career|
Mika Kristian Myllylä (12 September 1969 – 5 July 2011) was a Finnish cross-country skier who competed from 1992 to 2005. He won six medals at the Winter Olympics, earning one gold (1998: 30 km), one silver (1994: 50 km), and four bronzes (1994: 30 km, 4 × 10 km; 1998: 10 km, 4 × 10 km).
Myllylä also won a total of nine medals at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, winning four golds (1997: 50 km, 1999: 10 km, 30 km, 50 km), three silvers (10 km + 15 km combined pursuit: 1997, 1999; 4 × 10 km relay: 1997), and two bronzes (10 km: 1995, 1997).
He was on his way to become one of the greatest stars in cross-country skiing history, until he was caught doping in the Finnish 2001 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships scandal for taking hydroxyethyl starch (HES), a blood plasma expander usually used to cover up the use of erythropoietin (EPO) in athletes. The scandal also affected five other Finnish skiers, including Jari Isometsä and Harri Kirvesniemi. Myllylä received a two-year suspension from the FIS as a result. In connection with a 2011 court case, Myllylä gave a sworn statement where he admitted using EPO in the 1990s, during his career.
After the suspension Myllylä tried to return to skiing, but failed to come back to the international level despite winning a few Finnish championships. Myllylä retired from the skiing sports in 2005. In the following years he was involved in alcohol-related problems which were extensively covered in Finnish tabloid papers. On 5 July 2011, Myllylä was found dead at his home in Kokkola. According to the police investigation, his death was an accident and both suicide and foul play could be ruled out.
- Dennis Hevesi (5 July 2011). "Mika Myllyla, Olympic Skier in Doping Scandal, Dies at 41". The New York Times.
- "Myllylä: Kerroin eposta Vähäsöyringille ja Leppävuorelle". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Sanoma News. 7 June 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
- "Poliisi epäilee Mika Myllylää naisten pahoinpitelystä". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish) (Sanoma News). 20 January 2010. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
- "Mika Myllylä on kuollut". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish) (Sanoma News). 5 July 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
- "Myllylän kuolinsyyntutkinta valmis". YLE (in Finnish). 9 September 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- Media related to Mika Myllylä at Wikimedia Commons