Finland's Kyroe charged with drug smuggling

Finland’s Kyroe charged with drug smuggling{mosimage}The former head coach of Finland’s nordic ski team, Kari-Pekka Kyroe, was charged Thursday with smuggling illegal performance-enhancing drugs used by his athletes during the world championships in Lahti two years ago.

Six of the host country’s skiers, including renowned veteran Harri Kirvesniemi and triple Olympic champion Mika Myllyla, were caught illegally using hydroxyethyl (HES), a plasma-expanding compound.

A report into the matter said that the skiers may have used the drug in an effort to mask their use of the stamina-boosting Erythropoietin (EPO).

State prosecutor Pekka Koponen said he was charging Kyroe with smuggling EPO into Finland in 1999 and 2000, Finnish news agency FNB reported.

Neither Kyroe nor the athletes will face charges regarding the actual use of the performance-enhancing drugs as this was not illegal under Finnish law at the time, he added.

Finnish law has since been tightened to include a ban on the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

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