Kostner's boyfriend booted from Summer Games

Defending race walking champion Alex Schwazer tested positive for banned substance on July 30

Carolina Kostner and boyfriend Alex Schwazer are seen here attending a fashion show in 2009.
Carolina Kostner and boyfriend Alex Schwazer are seen here attending a fashion show in 2009. (Getty Images)


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(08/07/2012) - The boyfriend of reigning Italian world champion Carolina Kostner, Alex Schwazer, was expelled Monday from the 2012 Summer Olympic Games after testing positive for EPO, a performance-enhancing drug.

The test was administered by the World Anti-Doping Agency on July 30 in Oberstdorf, Germany, the city in which Kostner lives and trains.

Schwazer is the defending Olympic champion in the 50-kilometer race walking event.

This has been an eventful off-season for Kostner. She told the Italian sports magazine Gente in early July that was considering retiring from the sport, but a few days later announced on her website her intentions to continue competing through the 2014 Olympic Games.

Last Thursday, Aug. 2, Kostner's name appeared scratched from the entry lists for her two Grand Prix events this fall, the Cup of China and Trophée Eric Bompard.

Schwazer's agent, Giulia Mancini, released the following statement on Tuesday:

"Carolina is standing by her partner at this time, but her decision to return to competition at the end of the year has nothing to do with these events. She loves her Alex very much and will stay with him, but she is skipping the first events on 2 October -- not in August as some have said -- because she decided only in July to continue competing and would not have been fit. She and her coach preferred to come back in December for the Italian championships, and work towards the European and World Championships in March. Carolina's competitive career is separate from Alex's."

(It is unclear which events Mancini is referring to in August and October, as Kostner's Grand Prix events take place in November.)

On Wednesday, the press office for Kostner's club, Blue Flames Sporting Club, sent out a release that contained the following roughly translated passage:

"...the decision not to take part in the ISU Grand Prix 2012 was made by the athlete in June, when preparing technical and artistic programs for the next season, and had been formally brought to the attention of the Blue Flames Sporting Club, so it's absolutely false that the affair which affected in recent days the athlete Alex Schwazer has somehow influenced the future activities of Carolina."

At a news conference Schwazer held Wednesday morning in the city of Bolzano, in northern Italy, he revealed he kept his use of EPO hidden from Kostner until he was informed of his positive test Monday.

Schwazer said he put his supply of EPO in a box of vitamins in the refrigerator to conceal it from his girlfriend.

"For me, it wasn't easy to tell Carolina that in the refrigerator, it wasn't vitamin B-12 but EPO," Schwazer said. "I'm really ashamed."

Kostner, he added, has stood by him since learning the news, "not leaving me alone for a moment."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.