Carolina Kostner defends herself against possible 4-year-ban

Carolina Kostner
3 Comments

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.

Chris Froome: Tour de France will be ‘main focus’ in 2015

Kendall Gretsch wins six gold medals at Para Nordic Ski Worlds

Kendall Gretsch
Getty
0 Comments

Kendall Gretsch, who won Paralympic titles at the last Summer and Winter Games, added another six gold medals at the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Sweden last week.

Gretsch, 30, earned seven total medals in seven days between biathlon and cross-country skiing.

Gretsch won gold medals in three different sports across the last three Paralympics: biathlon and cross-country skiing in 2018 (two years after taking up the sports), triathlon in 2021 and biathlon in 2022.

She plans to shift her focus back to triathlon after this winter for 2024 Paris Games qualification.

Gretsch, born with spina bifida, was the 2014 USA Triathlon Female Para Triathlete of the Year. Though triathlon was added to the Paralympics for the 2016 Rio Games, her classification was not added until Tokyo.

Also at last week’s worlds, six-time Paralympian Aaron Pike earned his first Paralympic or world championships gold medal in his decade-plus career, winning a 12.5km biathlon event.

Oksana Masters, who won seven medals in seven events at last year’s Paralympics to break the career U.S. Winter Paralympics medals record, missed worlds due to hand surgery.

The U.S. also picked up five medals at last week’s World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Spain — three silvers for five-time Paralympian Laurie Stephens and two bronzes for 17-year-old Saylor O’Brien.

Stephens now has 18 career medals from world championships, plus seven at the Paralympics.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

World champion skier Kyle Smaine dies in avalanche at age 31

Kyle Smaine
Getty
0 Comments

Kyle Smaine, a retired world champion halfpipe skier, died in an avalanche in Japan on Sunday, according to NBC News, citing Smaine’s father. He was 31.

Smaine, a 2015 World champion in ski halfpipe, had been doing ski filming in Japan, sharing videos on his Instagram account over the past week.

The native of South Lake Tahoe, California, finished ninth in ski halfpipe at the 2016 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.

In 2018, Smaine won the fifth and final U.S. Olympic qualifying series event in ski halfpipe but did not make the four-man team for PyeongChang. His last sanctioned international competition was in February 2018.

Late Sunday, two-time Olympic champion David Wise won the X Games men’s ski halfpipe and dedicated it to Smaine.

“We all did this for Kyle tonight,” Wise said on the broadcast. “It’s a little bit of an emotional day for us. We lost a friend.”