Finnish Olympic gold medallist found dead
Wednesday, 06 July 2011
July 6 - Finnish cross-country skier Mika Myllyla, who won the Olympic gold medal at Nagano in 1998 but was later implicated in a major doping scandal, has been found dead at his home, police have announced.
He was 41.
"We do not believe that the death is linked to a crime," said the Finnish police in a statement.
"The cause of death will be investigated."
Myllyla was alone in his apartment in Kokkola.
Myllala was among the most celebrated skiers in Finland until his fall from grace in a doping scandal in 2001.
Three years earlier he won gold in the 30 kilometres cross-country in Nagano, where he also won two bronze medals.
He had also collected a silver and two bronze medals in Lillehammer in 1994, giving him six Olympic medals.
In addition he won nine World Championship medals including four golds; three of them at Ramsau in 1999 at 10km, 30km and 50km.
Myllala then tested positive in 2001 for hydroxyethl starch, a masking agent for the banned blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO).
Last month he had given a sworn statement during a court case that he had indeed used EPO during the 1990s.
After serving a two-year ban, he attempted a comeback, twice winning the Finnish Championships but never figuring strongly again on the international scene.
He retired in 2005.