Olympic ski champion wins doping appeal at CAS


LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) -- Sport's highest court has lifted the three-year doping ban imposed on two-time Olympic cross-country skiing champion Andrus Veerpalu of Estonia for use of human growth hormone.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld Veerpalu's appeal against the International Ski Federation for "procedural flaws," even though it suspected him of doping.

CAS says its panel noted "''many factors in this case which tend to indicate that Andrus Veerpalu did in fact himself administer exogenous HGH."

However, the panel says "procedural flaws have been found in the statistical side of the (World Anti-Doping Agency) studies establishing the decision limits."

Veerpalu tested positive for HGH in Estonia in January 2011 while preparing for the world championships.

The 42-year-old skier won gold medals in the classical 15-kilometer races at the 2002 and 2006 Olympics.