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Kostner hit with 16-month ban in Schwazer case

Olympic bronze medalist responds: 'I will get back on my feet again'
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Carolina Kostner was issued a 16-month ban for her role in Olympic race walking champion Alex Schwarzer's doping case. -Getty Images

Olympic bronze medalist Carolina Kostner has been issued a 16-month ban from competition for her role in covering up Olympic race walking champion Alex Schwazer's use of performance-enhancing drugs, according to The Associated Press.

Kostner, who was dating Schwazer at the time, is one of the most decorated Italian figure skaters of all time, having won six world medals over her career. She is reportedly appealing the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Kostner has maintained that she had no knowledge of the race walker's doping, but did admit that she lied to drug testers who came to her home in 2012 looking to perform a drug test on Schwazer. Kostner claimed Schwazer was not at her residence at the time when he was in fact present.

A nine-time European medalist, Kostner had announced she was taking the 2014-15 figure skating season off prior to being implicated in the case. Her ban is not backdated.

UPDATE (1/17) - Kostner issued a statement on her website in response to the suspension. In it, she is quoted as saying, "I believe that the judges acknowledge that I have nothing to do with doping, but this is not sufficient for me. I feel hurt, and what bothers me the most is that my name might remain associated with something that I am totally against."

She continued, "I have no words to describe the disappointment, humiliation and pain that I am feeling right now as an athlete and as a person. ... It's really hard, but I will get back on my feet again as I have done many times in the past."