Former figure skating world champion, Carolina Kostner, of Rome, now faces a proposed ban in the doping case that involves her former boyfriend, Alex Schwazer, an Olympic race walking gold medalist.
On Friday, the request was made as part of a widespread doping inquiry that was set off in 2012 when Schwazer tested positive for EPO just before the London Games.
After a CONI hearing back in September, Kostner’s lawyer said that the skater had nothing to do with Schwazer’s doping. Prosecutors felt otherwise; they believe Kostner helped her boyfriend avoid a drug test. The decision is now in the hands of the CONI internal doping court, reports MSN.
Kostner, 27, was skating world champion in 2012, and in 2014, she won a bronze medal in the Olympics. She has decided to take this year off from competition, but if her ban is approved, she will not be able to compete in the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The ban could literally end her career.
Schwazer won the 50-kilometer walk at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He was excluded from the London Games after he tested positive prior to the games, reports Yahoo!.
The CONI prosecutor has also recommended bans for three of the four members of the Italian squad that won the silver medal in the 4 x 100-meter relay at the 2010 European Athletics Championships. The prosecutor has recommended 27 months for Simone Collio, 24 months for Maurizio Checcucci, and eight months for Roberto Donati. CONI believes the issue is much more widespread than just those that have been banned so far.
The CONI case is completely based on the input of a prosecutor in Bolzano, who is investigating the Schwazer file. Allegedly it has uncovered widespread doping issue within the Italian athletics federation.
Prosecutors believe coaches and doctors knew that Schwazer was doping long before he tested positive, possibly dating to Beijing. He was banned by CONI for three-and-a-half years in April 2013.
Schwazer failed an out-of-competition test before he made the trip to London, and was immediately removed from Italy’s team. He has admitted to using the blood-boosting hormone EPO. He has stated that he is quitting the sport.
Besides the bronze medal Kostner won in the 2014 Olympics, in her career she has won two silvers and three bronzes in the worlds, and she is a five-time European champion. At this time it remains unclear if she will be banned, but if CONI does order the ban she could be stripped of all of her medals.
Kostner has maintained that she did not know he doped.
[Image courtesy of biograffieonline.it]