Disgraced Skier Found Dead

Mika Myllyla, Finnish Olympian, dies at 41


Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.

Mika Myllyla, an Olympic champion nordic skier who was banned from the sport in 2001, was found dead at his home in Finland on Tuesday. Authorities in the city of Kokkola are investigating the cause of death but do not suspect foul play. Myllyla, who was 41, won gold in the 1998 Nagano Olympics at 30K. He also won five other Olympic medals, including a silver and four bronze medals, and collected four world championship titles, becoming one of the most decorated skiers in Finnish history. In 2001, a gas station attendant found a bag containing doping equipment, including a masking agent, belonging to Myllyla and several teammates. He was later banned from skiing for two years and retired from the sport in 2005. Last year, he admitted to having used the blood-boosting drug EPO in his career. The 2001 doping case was a scandal in Finland, and led to a purge among Finish skiers and officals. Myllyla issued a public apology, but his life appears to have spiraled downward in the case’s aftermath: since 2001, he was arrested twice for drunk driving and three times for assault.

Read more at The New York Times