Athletics coach Matti Liimatainen has ended his cooperation with hockey runner Lotta Harala, 28, Yle Urheil reports.

Both Liimatainen and Harala have confirmed the matter to Yle Sport.

- The cooperation ended here two weeks ago.

Not related to that doping offense, but how it was treated.

That is, a lack of confidence.

The reason was that I was not told about the ban, Liimatainen commented to Yle Sport.

Harala was caught in a doping test in Espoo last August.

He received a three-month operating ban, which he suffered after the race season.

The ban ended on January 12, 2021.

Liimatainen, 61, has previously told Ilta-Sanomat that the operating ban came as a surprise to him.

  • Read more: Even my own coach didn't know about Lotta Harala's ban for a long time: "I don't know who should have told"

According to Yle Urheilu, Liimatainen learned about Harala's doping violation after it went public on 29 January.

- Before the decision, he had applied for a voluntary ban and did not tell me about it.

We had a rather different view of how this should have worked, Liimatainen told Yle Urheil.

Harala communicated his own position to Yle Urheilu:

- Matti felt that I did not say that I had started a voluntary ban, a lack of confidence.

The decision, taken in agreement with my team of experts, not to tell anyone, was entirely based on legal considerations.

Mati's decision therefore does not concern the ban itself, but the failure to state it earlier.