Saturday, November 16, 2002 - Latest News
Finland to Prevent Dopers from Racing at the 2003 World Championships

Finland has decided that only Virpi Kuitunen, the women’s cross-country pursuit world champion in 2001, will be able to enter the 2003 world championships in Val di Fiemme (is she wants to).

The FIS has cleared Myllyla, Isometse, Jahuo and Immonen to race at the 2003 World Championships in Val di Fiemme, yet Finland stood by its decision made in the spring that athletes will be selected based on results from this season. These athletes may thus be expected to be racing again at the March 2003 world cup events, but will not be eligible to race before the World Championships, which would be necessary to qualify.

Kuitunen won the pursuit in Lahti 2001, leaving her automatically qualified for the event in 2003 under the rule that each World Champion has an automatic start to defend their title. While she was later caught for doping, the pursuit in Val di Fiemme will be hosted after her ban expires.

As reported earlier, Rene Sommerfeldt, who placed 2nd to Johann Muehlegg in the 50k in Lahti, will not get Muehlegg’s free spot in the 50k.

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