Bolzano

Carolina Kostner 'angry' at Schwazer, but admires courage

Figure-skating champ says boyfriend paying price for doping

Carolina Kostner 'angry' at Schwazer, but admires courage

(ANSA) - Bolzano, August 20 - Italy's figure-skating world champion Carolina Kostner on Monday said she was very angry at her boyfriend Alex Schwazer for doping ahead of the 50km walk event at the London Games, but she said she still admires him. "Alex as an athlete made a huge mistake and there is no doubt about how angry I am," she said. "As a person I've seen him suffer, especially in this last period. I admire him a lot for his courage, for having to admit his mistakes in front of the whole world". Days before Schwazer was to compete at the Olympics in London earlier this month, test results showed traces of the blood-boosting hormone EPO in his urine, excluding him from the 50km walk. Schwazer won gold in the event at the 2008 Games in Beijing, something he says he achieved without performance-enhancing drugs. "When Alex won the gold in Beijing, it was on the front pages for just one day, whereas the (doping story) stayed there for an entire week," said Kostner. Schwazer has said that Kostner knew nothing about his EPO use, which he says he tried for the first time just before failing the drug test. His mother has said that he was in a suicidal "black hole" in the run-up to the Games amid the heavy pressure to win. Kostner on Monday said he was overcoming his "demons". "I know Alex will pay a heavy price for his mistakes," she said. "But I also know he will find his way now that he has freed himself from the demons in his mind. I hope the free person I met four years ago will come back".

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