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Carolina Kostner defends herself against possible 4-year-ban

Carolina Kostner

Carolina Kostner of Italy performs during women’s free skating finals of the World figure skating championships in Saitama near Tokyo, Saturday, March 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)


Olympic figure skating bronze medalist Carolina Kostner said she couldn’t have beared covering up her then-boyfriend’s doping, again denying knowledge of Olympic race-walking champion Alex Schwazer‘s drug use before he tested positive in 2012.

Kostner doesn’t understand how she could be banned for more than four years for allegedly aiding Schwazer while others who tested positive, including Schwazer, serve shorter bans. An Italian anti-doping prosecutor is seeking a four-year, three-month ban against Kostner for charges including helping Schwazer avoid a drug test.

“If I knew Alex was doping I would have convinced him to confess, for his own health,” Kostner told Italy’s Fatto Quotidiano newspaper in comments translated by The Associated Press. “Being accused of aiding him is intolerable for me. I’ve never doped, I’ve never helped Alex dope and I knew nothing about it until the test came up positive.”

Kostner admitted she lied to drug testers who showed up at her home in 2012, looking for Schwazer in order to perform a drug test. She lied and told them that Schwazer was not in her home.

“I had just a few seconds to decide what to do,” Kostner told the newspaper, according to the AP. “I lied on his request. But I never -- never -- covered for him, because I had no idea what he was doing.”

Kostner, 27, also argued she couldn’t have known about Schwazer’s doping, citing her competitive figure skating record. Kostner said she fell at the 2006 and 2010 Olympics because she couldn’t handle pressure well.

But in 2012, she had the best season of her career, winning the European and World Championships. Kostner said she couldn’t have won those gold medals if burdened by covering up Schwazer’s doping.

Kostner, the reigning Olympic and World bronze medalist, said before she became involved in the Schwazer investigation that she would take the 2014-15 season off.

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