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Friday 25, Aug 2017

  Career Of Jon Jones Hangs In Balance

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Current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones has been flagged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for a potential anti-doping violation stemming from his UFC 214 fight with Daniel Cormier on July 29.

The failed drug test in question was administered the day of the UFC 214 weigh ins (July 28), a day before Jones defeated Daniel Cormier via third-round knockout. Andy Foster, California State Athletic Commission executive officer, revealed Jones had passed all of his out-of-competition drug tests leading into UFC 214. Jones was tested on July 6 and July 7 by USADA, the results of those samples came back negative.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Cormier, the UFC 214 opponent of Jones, said he was shocked to learn about the positive test of Jones for the anabolic steroid Turinabol but asked fans to let the USADA testing process unfold before jumping to conclusions.

In a statement, the United States Anti-Doping Agency said we cannot comment on an on-going case, but importantly all athletes under the UFC anti-doping program are innocent unless and until the established process determines otherwise. The statement also reads that Jones as part of this process is given the opportunity to be heard, confront and cross examine the evidence and have the ultimate decision of whether he violated the rules or not be decided by independent judges and added it is only fair to let due process occur before drawing any conclusions about Jones.

In a statement, the UFC said USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Jon Jones, as it relates to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and future UFC participation. The statement also reads that there is a full and fair legal process under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. The UFC statement also reads that the California State Athletic Commission [CSAC] also retains jurisdiction over this matter as the sample collection was performed the day before Jones’ bout at UFC 214 in Anaheim, CA, and USADA will work to ensure that the CSAC has the necessary information to determine its proper judgment of Jones’ potential anti-doping violation.

Jones has not been stripped of his UFC Light Heavyweight championship till now. The UFC fighter is likely to face a possible doping ban of four years that could mean the end of his illustrious career.

Jeff Novitzky, UFC vice president of athlete health and performance, said his understanding is the sample was collected in the hours after the weigh-ins, so that would put him in an in-competition period under the program. Novitzky added Jon is afforded due process and added the B sample would not have been tested already but he is of the view that the substance is 99.999-percent of the time is in the body of that athlete when a World Anti-Doping Agency accredited lab makes an announcement of a positive test of a substance in that athlete’s body. The UFC vice president of athlete health and performance added they do some confirmatory testing on even the A sample.

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Tuesday 04, Jul 2017

  Three Pitchers Suspended By MLB For Use Of Banned Substances

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Major League Baseball (MLB) has imposed drug suspensions on Houston Astros rookie David Paulino as well as minor leaguers Joseph Colon of Cleveland and Joan Gregorio of San Francisco.

Paulino, who is the only one presently in the majors, received a ban of 80 games after he tested positive for Boldenone, an anabolic steroid. The suspension of Paulino started with Saturday night’s game against the New York Yankees. Paulino has started six games for the first-place Astros this season, going 2-0 with a 6.52 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 29 innings.

In a statement, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said we are disappointed in the news regarding David Paulino. Luhnow added we hope this is a one-time incident and something David can learn from as he continues his career. The Astros general manager also commented that the Astros will continue to fully support Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Colon tested positive for a synthetic drug whose effect is similar to that of Testosterone. The 27-year-old right-hander made his big league debut with the Indians last July 8 and was 1-3 with a 7.20 ERA in 11 relief appearances. Colon has a 4.13 ERA in 28 relief appearances this year at Triple-A Columbus.

Gregorio showed evidence of the anabolic steroid Stanozolol. The 25-year-old Gregorio is 4-4 with a 3.04 ERA in 13 starts this year at Triple-A Sacramento. The 6-foot-7 starter was performing well for the Triple-A Sacramento and came close to being promoted more than once in June. Gregorio was even pulled from his warmups before a game in Las Vegas as the Giants weighed a move and he was likely to be in the team had he not injured his back a few days back. Gregorio was expected to replace Dan Slania but the chance has now been bagged by Chris Stratton who got the call and arrived in time for the game.

Both of them have been banned for the rest of the season.

This year, Pittsburgh All-Star outfielder Starling Marte and Philadelphia pitcher Elniery Garcia were banned under the major league drug program. In this year, there have been 47 suspensions under the minor league program.

Kansas City Royals catcher Mark Sanchez was recently suspended for 80 games under the minor league drug program of baseball following a positive test. The 22-year-old tested positive for the performance enhancing substance, Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone. Sanchez, a 35th-round draft pick last year, was hitting .206 with two RBIs in 11 games this season for Lexington of the Class A South Atlantic League.

Few weeks back, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Jair Jurrjens was suspended for 80 games following a positive test for Testosterone that did not originate in his body. The 31-year-old right-hander is 4-3 with a 4.64 ERA in 10 starts and one relief appearances this season at Triple-A Oklahoma City. He has not appeared in a game since June 7. A native of Curacao, Jurrjens is a veteran of eight major league seasons and an All-Star with Atlanta in 2011. He is 53-38 with a 3.72 ERA for Detroit (2007), the Braves (2008-12), Baltimore (2013) and Colorado (2014).

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Thursday 22, Jun 2017

  Russia Bans Four Athletes For Doping

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The Athletics Federation of Russia has announced suspensions of four years have been imposed on Russian runners whose samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics tested positive for a banned steroid.

Last year, Long-distance runner Inga Abitova and 400-metre specialists Anastasia Kapachinskaya and Denis Alekseyev were disqualified by the International Olympic Committee after their samples from Beijing were found to contain banned substances in retesting, including the steroid Turinabol.

The results of Alekseyev between August 2008 and June 2013 are annulled, according to the Russian athletics federation. Alekseyev won bronze in Beijing as part of the Russian men’s 4×400-metre relay team but the International Olympic Committee ordered that he and his teammates be stripped of their medals. The Russian athletics federation also announced the results of Kapachinskaya starting from August 2008 are annulled. The athlete and her 4×400-metre relay teammates were also stripped of their silver medals from Beijing. Kapachinskaya also tested positive for Stanozolol and her retested sample from the 2011 World Athletics Championships in Daegu also showed up as positive.

American Francena McCorory will now inherit the 400 bronze of Kapachinskaya from the 2011 world championships. Alekseyev took bronze in the men’s 4x400m and Kapachinskaya claimed silver in the women’s 4x400m relay. Their medals had already been reallocated by the International Olympic Committee and Great Britain is set to receive bronze in both events.

Christine Ohuruogu, Kelly Sotherton, Marilyn Okoro and Nicola Sanders – the GB women’s quartet – finished fifth but now have moved to the third place as a result of both third-placed Russia and fourth-placed Belarus being disqualified because of subsequent failed tests. Andrew Steele, Robert Tobin, Michael Bingham and Martyn Rooney – the men’s four – moved from fourth to third when the International Olympic Committee stripped third-placed Russia of their medal in September.

The Athletics Federation of Russia said the suspensions handed out to Alekseyev and Abitova will end next year because the suspension terms already include two-year bans they had previously served for doping offences. European silver medalist Irina Maracheva was also suspended.

Abitova, the 2006 European Champion in the 10,000 meters reached the final at the 2008 Summer Olympics, and specializes in the 10,000 meters and the marathon. The Russian athlete received a doping ban of two years for abnormal hemoglobin profile in her biological passport. In 2006, Abitova had become European champion over the 10,000 meters at the 2006 European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Alekseyev tested positive for the anabolic steroid Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (Oral Turinabol) in an out-of-competition control 27 June 2013. Alekseyev was one of 14 Russian athletes and nine medalists who were implicated following the retesting of urine from the 2008 Olympic Games.

Kapachinskaya was disqualified from competitions in 2004 and 2008 because of doping offences. The sprint athlete was initially awarded gold in the 200 m event at the 2004 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Budapest but she was later stripped of the title after testing positive for Stanozolol, the banned anabolic steroid. Kapachinskaya face a lifetime ban from the sport as this would be a second doping offence.

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Tuesday 25, Apr 2017

  Russian Heptathlete Stripped Of Beijing Bronze

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The International Olympic Committee has stripped Russian Olympic heptathlete Tatyana Chernova of her 2008 Beijing Games bronze medal on Monday after she tested positive to banned substances in re-tests of her sample.

A statement on the IOC’s website reads Tatyana Chernova, 29, of Russia, competing in the women’s heptathlon event in which she ranked 3rd and for which he was awarded a bronze medal, has been disqualified from the Olympic Games Beijing 2008. The statement further reads that re-analysis of Chernova’s samples from Beijing 2008 resulted in a positive test for the prohibited substance Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (Turinabol).  The Russian athlete had already served another doping ban that saw her stripped of Olympic bronze at London in 2012 and the 2011 world title from Daegu in South Korea.

Meanwhile, Jessica Ennis-Hill has expressed her delight at the news that she would now become a triple world heptathlon champion after Chernova was finally stripped of her 2011 title. Chernova, who beat Ennis-Hill by 129 points, was given a doping ban of two years after a retesting of her sample from the 2009 world championships found a prohibited anabolic steroid. The results of Chernova from 15 August 2009 to 14 August 2011 were annulled but the 2011 world championships started a fortnight later, on 28 August, and were thus not covered by the annulment. Later, the CAS ruled that all of Chernova’s results between 15 August 2011 and 22 July 2013 are to be annulled that means the Russian loses her gold from Daegu and bronze from the 2012 London Olympics, when she finished behind Ennis-Hill.

The 2012 Olympics sample of fellow Russian Maksim Dyldin, who was fifth with the 4x400m relay team at the Games in London, also tested positive for the same substance. The Russian 400 meter runner finished 17th in the 400m in London and helped Russia to fifth in the 4x400m relay; the results have now been annulled.

In Beijing, Cheronova initially finished fourth in Beijing but she was upgraded to bronze after Liudmyla Blonska of Ukraine tested positive in 2008. Britain’s Kelly Sotherton, originally fifth, is now in line to be promoted to the bronze medal position.

Sotherton is also set to be upgraded to a bronze medal in the Hepthalon from the 2008 Beijing Games after silver medalist Lyudmila Blonska tested positive for anabolic steroid Methyltestosterone during the Games.

Suspension of Cheronova is the 18th Russian doping case from the Beijing Olympic revealed in a re-testing program that has mostly relied on improved detection of anabolic steroids.

The IOC disciplinary panel said in its published judgment that such a significant extension of the detection window is the obvious explanation for the unfortunately spectacular and unprecedented high number of positive cases which were revealed.

A total of 41 medals from Beijing have been stripped after retesting, mostly from athletics and weightlifting.

In another development, a doping ban of four years has been imposed on Russian marathon runner Albina Mayorova by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). A two-time Olympian, Mayorova tested positive last year for excess testosterone. The suspension of Mayorova will backdate to June 28, 2016, while all of her results between March 14, 2016 and June 28, 2016 will be annulled. The ban is likely to bring an end to the competitive career of the Russian marathon runner.

Albina Mayorova, who also competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, has finished in the top 10 in the London, Boston, and Chicago marathons during her career.

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Saturday 15, Apr 2017

  Ukraine Apologize Over Embarrassing Amnesty Claim For Drugs Cheats

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Ukraine has been forced to apologize to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) following an embarrassing mix-up.

The Ukrainian Athletics Federation (FLAU) recently posted on its website that a month-long amnesty period is due to expire on April 3. The amnesty offered a promise to athletes that they would avoid punishment if they admitted using banned drugs. The website promised athletes would avoid any public sanctions apart from a temporary suspension from competition for the period taken for traces of banned substances to leave the body if they “voluntarily confess” to taking drugs.

It is now claimed by the FLAU that it was a mix-up and they were not trying to operate outside the rules.

IAAF spokesman Chris Turner remarked we sought clarification from the Ukrainian Federation and they replied that this was a bad summary of an athlete seminar held last month and they would never do anything to break the WADA Code or that did not follow IAAF rules. Turner remarked they have apologized for the miscommunication and have removed it from their website.

Last year, Ukraine was placed on an IAAF monitoring list and it is currently being reviewed on a monthly basis. The doping situation in Ukraine is likely to be discussed by the ruling council of IAAF during a two-day meeting that begun at the Marriott West India Quay.

FLAU President Ihor Hotsul had previously claimed Ukraine have a zero tolerance policy regarding all forms of doping following criticism at the last IAAF Council meeting in Monte Carlo in February.

Last December, Ukraine was one of the 15 countries out of 197 members who failed to back the reform package by IAAF President Sebastian Coe. The package included several measures specifically designed to help combat anti-doping. The country never specified why it voted against the reforms even though former world pole vault record and 1988 Olympic champion Sergey Bubka, the country’s most famous athlete, is the senior vice-president of the IAAF.

The country has the second worst doping record in athletics behind Russia. Six Ukrainian athletes have been retrospectively disqualified from the 2012 Olympics in London following re-analysis of their doping samples and the biggest name was Oleksandr Pyatnytsya, the silver medalist in the javelin before he was stripped of it in February 2016. The list of other doping cheats included Lyudmyla Yosypenko and Tetyana Hamera-Shmyrko, fourth and fifth respectively in the heptathlon and marathon at London 2012. Svitlana Shmidt and Anna Mishchenko have already lost the silver medals they had won in the 1500 and 3,000 meters steeplechase respectively at the 2012 European Championships in Helsinki following the retests.

In the past, shot putter Yuriy Bilinog was stripped of his Olympic gold medal from Athens 2004 after retests showed traces of anabolic steroid Oxandrolone. Two-time world champion sprinter Zhanna Pintusevich-Block was implicated in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative scandal and was given a ban of two years. Heptathlete Lyudmila Blonska was stripped of her Beijing 2008 silver medal after she failed an anti-doping test for Methyltestosterone, another anabolic steroid.

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Thursday 23, Mar 2017

  British Wrestler Handed Ban Of Four Years For Doping

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Chinu Sandhu, the British wrestler who won bronze at the Commonwealth Games in 2014, has been banned for a period of four years after he tested positive for an anabolic steroid.

The Indian-born Sandhu, who is based in the West Midlands, is banned from all sport from October 14, 2016, until midnight on October 13, 2020. Sandhu, also known as Chinu Chinu or Chinu Xxx, tested positive for a metabolite of Stanozolol, an exogenous anabolic androgenic steroid, following an out-of-competition test on 20 September 2016. The wrestler was subsequently charged following the test with an ADRV pursuant to article 2.1 of the World Anti-Doping Code – “Presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in an Athlete’s Sample”.

The news was described by British Wrestling as “extremely disappointing” after the 29-year-old, who competed in the 125kg men’s freestyle, failed an out-of-competition drugs test. The claim of unintentional use by the eight-time British wrestling champion was rejected by a three-person national anti-doping panel that imposed the maximum four-year sanction for first-time offenders.

The British wrestler had originally blamed the positive test for Stanozolol (Winstrol) on medication he was taking but then said it came about as a result of taking a contaminated supplement.

In a press release, UK Anti-Doping chief executive Nicole Sapstead said Chinu Sandhu was one of this country’s leading freestyle wrestlers, having won a bronze medal at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and represented Great Britain at the European Games in Baku in 2015. Sapstead added it is sad that his reputation within the sport has been tainted because of his own actions. The UKAD chief executive said athletes are solely responsible for any substance which is found in their system, regardless of whether there is an intention to cheat or not and further commented that no one can ever guarantee that a supplement is free from prohibited substances and taking them will always carry an element of risk.

Sapstead also said that our advice is clear – before taking any supplement, athletes must assess the need and remarked it is then imperative that they assess the risk of use by carrying out thorough research through websites such as informed-sport.com. The chief executive of UK Anti-Doping also remarked finally athletes must fully understand the consequences of taking supplements and decide whether a potential four-year ban from sport is worth it.

Few months back, Vahid Hosseinpoor, a 32-year-old freestyle wrestler, who was previously banned in 2014, was suspended for a further 12 months after breaching the terms of his ban. Hosseinpoor originally received a doping ban of two years from 3 June 2014 to 2 June 2016 after testing positive for Tamoxifen, following an in-competition test at the 2014 BWA British Senior Wrestling Championships. Intelligence was received by UK Anti-Doping in May 2016 that Hosseinpoor may have breached the terms of his ban by undertaking training with the YMCA Wildcats Wrestling club in early 2015. Hosseinpoor is banned from all sport from 2 June 2016 until midnight on 1 June 2017.

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Sunday 19, Feb 2017

  FLAU President Defends Anti-Doping Measures

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Ihor Hotsul, President of the Ukrainian Athletics Federation (FLAU), has come out strongly to justify improvements made by his organization to improve its anti-doping procedures.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) last year placed Ukraine along with Belarus, Ethiopia, Morocco, and Kenya on a special monitoring list. The National Anti-Doping Agency of Ukraine was briefly declared non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) before it met a series of conditions in March last year.

In recent years, dozens of Ukrainian athletes have been tested positive for banned performance enhancing drugs. The list includes Heptathlete Lyudmila Blonska who failed a drug test for Methyltestosterone and was stripped of her Beijing 2008 silver medal.

Shot putter Yuriy Bilinog was stripped of his Athens 2004 Olympic gold after traces of anabolic steroid Oxandrolone were revealed in retests. Oleksandr Pyatnytsya, London 2012 javelin silver medal winner, was retrospectively disqualified after testing positive for Oral Turinabol.

Hotsul said there will be further improvements in the anti-doping procedures of the Ukrainian Athletics Federation following a pledge of support from the Government. Recently, the law was officially passed through Ukrainian Parliament.

Hotsul said the loss of many sponsors and partners made it hard for the FLAU to reimburse the costs of sample analysis through its low budget. Hotsul thanked the world governing body of athletics and its President Sebastian Coe for their support. He further commented that around 10 urine and 70 blood samples taken from the 2016 National Championships in Lutsk have already been analyzed this way by a testing group from Global Sports GmbH. The FLAU President said these examples clearly show the positive dynamics of measures taken in order to fight doping and also commented that we are very grateful to the IAAF for understanding our situation and for the support regarding testing and promoting the new edition of the anti-doping law. Hotsul also said we would like to emphasize once again that our Federation takes a tough and uncompromising approach to the fight against doping and it makes every possible effort for its successful implementation.

Ukraine Sports Minister Igor Zhdanov had previously remarked that his country will take the “necessary decisions” after they studied observations of the IAAF. Zhdanov had also remarked we are working closely with WADA and further commented that we had some problems but we have no systemic problems.

IAAF Sebastian Coe remarked at the end of the IAAF Council meeting in last March that Kenya, Ukraine, and Belarus have been put on a monitoring list for 2016 to strengthen their anti-doping regimes and make sure their journey to compliance is completed by the end of the year.

Morocco and Ethiopia are among the top countries in the world for middle and long-distance running. Since 2003, a lot of Moroccan athletes have been accused of doping and 37 of its athletes were suspended by the IAAF, the majority of them in the last four years. In the last three years, more than 40 Kenyan athletes have been caught up in drug scandals. Athletics Kenya chief executive Isaac Mwangin was suspended for corruption involving cover-ups.

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Monday 13, Feb 2017

  World Ski Champ Johaug Suspended For Doping

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Norwegian cross-country skier Therese Johaug has been suspended by the Sports Confederation of Norway for a period of 13 months after she tested positive for an anabolic steroid.

The suspension imposed on Johaug is a month shorter than the Norwegian Anti-Doping Organization’s proposed ban on her for 14 months. The one-month reduction will allow Johaug, a seven-time world champion, to participate in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February 2018.

The 28-year-old skier was given a temporary suspension after she tested positive for traces of the anabolic steroid Clostebol, banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), during an out-of-competition drug test on September 16th. Johaug claimed the steroid was contained in a lip cream called Trofodermin that was used by her on the recommendation of the team doctor to treat burns during a training session at high altitude in Italy in late August.

National ski team doctor Fredrik Bendiksen had insisted that he did not realized the cream contained Clostebol. Bendiksen took the full responsibility and resigned from his post in October.

Norwegian Ski Association President Erik Roste said it was a difficult day for Therese and Norwegian cross-country skiing. The President of Norway’s skiing federation said this is an unreal situation for him and many others. Roste said to stand here and clarify that one of the most wonderful athletes we have has been suspended for 13 months seems so unreal.

Johaug will be able to resume competition in November if the suspension is upheld. The ban was backdated to October 18, 2016, making Johaug’s return date November 18, 2017. She would now be eligible in time for next season’s World Cup and the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

The Norwegian Anti-Doping Organization, the World Anti-Doping Agency, the International Olympic Committee, Johaug, and the International Ski Federation all have the possibility to launch an appeal.

A member of the international ski federation FIS’ board reportedly told media in Finland that an appeal to the Court of Arbitration in Switzerland (CAS) was likely. FIS board member Martti Uusitalo said it is very likely we will appeal based on discussions on the FIS board. Uusitalo remarked the 13-month suspension was not based on either the regulations of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) or the legal principles and precedent set by the CAS. Uusitalo added it is therefore best for all parts that the CAS investigate the case thoroughly and that we get a fair conclusion.

Johaug’s manager, Jorn Ernst, remarked that Johaug, her lawyer and others  would review the verdict and would then considered the thought of filing a review with the CAS. There is a risk the CAS could extend her suspension on any appeal. Ernst said there is a fear that the Olympics will be lost for Therese also if the verdict is appealed and the suspension is lengthened and added we as of now are looking forward to the Olympics.

Johaug has won seven world championship and two overall World Cup titles. She won gold in the 4×5-kilometer relay at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and earned a bronze and silver medal at the 2014 Sochi Games.

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Friday 09, Dec 2016

  Ex-Olympic Champion Banned For Eight Years

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Italy’s 2008 Olympic 50km walk champion Alex Schwazer has been banned for a period of eight years after losing an appeal in a second doping case.

The 31-year-old helped Italy won the world 50km walk team title in May after a 45-month ban for a positive test for Erythropoietin before London Olympics. The Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected his appeal after the retest of a sample given in January showed traces of anabolic steroid Testosterone.

In a statement, the CAS said all competitive results obtained by Alex Schwazer from and including 1 January 2016 are disqualified with all resulting consequences, including forfeiture of medals, points, and prizes. The CAS has imposed an 8-year period of ineligibility on him, until 7 July 2024, which almost means an end to his career.

The Olympic 50km walk champion had previously admitted to using the blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO) in 2012. He admitted to taking a flight alone to Turkey the previous September with 1,500 euros to buy the blood booster at a pharmacy. Schwazer said he disguised EPO in a box of vitamins in a refrigerator at the home of his then-girlfriend Carolina Kostner in Germany, where he was staying in July in the buildup to the 2012 Games. The Italian said he learned how to use EPO through the Internet and injected it on a daily basis in a bathroom so that Kostner was not aware of what he was doing.

Kostner told anti-doping officials that Schwazer was not in home when they came to collect samples when he was with her at the home. Carolina also told the prosecutors that Schwazer slept in an altitude chamber that is not banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency but is illegal in Italy. The figure skater was banned for 16 months by the Italian Olympic committee for assisting Schwazer evade a test and other infractions. The Italian skater was banned from competition for 16 months and fined €1,000 for her role in the Schwazer case but the expiration date of the ban was changed to January 1, 2016. Kostner would return to competitive skating with Alexei Mishin as her coach.

Carolina is the 2014 Olympic bronze medalist, the 2012 World champion, a five-time European champion (2007–2008, 2010, 2012–2013), and the 2011 Grand Prix Final champion. Known for her speed across the ice, elegance, and interpretative refinement, Carolina spins and jumps in the clockwise direction.

Schwazer returned to competition and won the 50-kilometer event at the world championships in Rome in May.

The Gazzetta dello Sport reported Schwazer and the Italian federation (FIDAL) were informed a day earlier that a May 12 retest of a January 1 doping control sample showed positive traces of steroids. The retest was conducted after the athlete qualified for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. FIDAL confirmed that the Gazzetta report was accurate.

Born in northern Italy, Alex Schwazer was the runner-up at the 2008 IAAF World Race Walking Cup. He went on to win gold at the 50 km walk at the 2008 Summer Olympics, setting a new Olympic record with his time of 3:37:09.

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Wednesday 07, Dec 2016

  Carolina Kostner Banned For Aiding Doping Of Schwazer To Make A Return

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Olympic bronze medalist Carolina Kostner of Italy will be back in action this month after serving a ban of 21 months after being guilty of being complicit in the cover-up of her former boyfriend and doping cheat Alex Schwazer.

Kostner has taken on Russian coach Aleksei Mishin as she makes a comeback after serving a suspension for helping Schwazer evade doping tests. Mishin has coached Olympic skaters Alexei Urmanov, Alexei Yagudin, and Evgeny Plushenko, who joined Kostner in an ice show in Italy last month. The Olympic bronze medalist finished second at an invitational in Japan in January, her first competition in nearly two years because of the suspension.

The 29-year-old has not competed since March 29 but is due to take part in the International Skating Union (ISU)-sanctioned Golden Spin competition in Zagreb in Croatia from December 7 to 10. Kostner will also take to the ice in the Italian Championship Egna, a few kilometers from her hometown of Bolzano, from December 14 to 19. A six-time World Championships medalist, Carolina hopes to compete at the European Championships in Ostrava in the Czech Republic from January 25 to 29.

The Italian figure skater is a seven-time Italian national champion and is also a medalist at five other World Championships (2005, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014), four other European Championships (2006, 2009, 2011, 2014), and three other Grand Prix Finals (2007, 2008, 2010), the 2003 World Junior bronze medalist.

In January 2015, Kostner was initially suspended for 16 months for helping Beijing 2008 Olympic race walking champion Schwazer but her ban was later extended to 21 months. Schwazer was recently banned for eight years after he failed a drugs test just weeks after he made a return from a three-year and nine-month doping suspension. The Italian tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO) shortly before London 2012 but a May 12 retest of a January 1 doping sample showed positive traces of the anabolic steroid Testosterone. Schwazer confessed to going alone to Turkey for buying the banned blood booster before he stored it at the home he shared with Olympic figure skating bronze medalist Carolina Kostner.

The 2012 world champion and the Olympic bronze medalist in the singles event Sochi 2014 admitted she had lied to drug testers when they arrived to test Schwazer in July 2012. However, Kostner denied any involvement with her former boyfriend’s doping. She told inspectors according to lawyer Giovanni Fontana that Schwazer was not home, in order to respect his privacy, before he was subsequently caught by testers in Italy.

Originally, anti-doping prosecutors had called for a ban of four years on Kostner that would have ruled her out of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang before they settled on the agreed 16-month term.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) had declared her eligible to compete from January 1 this year after Kostner settled a dispute with the CONI and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The CAS said the suspension of Carolina Kostner was backdated to April 1, 2014, based on procedural delays that are not attributable to Kostner.

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