Two-time Olympic gold medalist Andrus Veerpalu of Estonia has received a three-year doping ban from cross-country skiing after testing positive for HGH. Samples taken after a race in January showed that Veerpalu had higher than permitted levels of growth hormone. Veerpalu, who denies using banned substances, later said he was retiring from competition. The Estonian Ski Association appealed to the International Ski Federation's anti-doping committee, who upheld the test and issued the three-year ban. Veerpalu is not allowed to participate in any official event until February 23, 2014, the last day of the Sochi Winter Olympics. Veerpalu won gold in the 15km classic race at both the 2002 and 2006 Olympics. The Estonian Ski Association plans to appeal FIS's ruling before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
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