Rome: Italy`s former world figure skating champion Carolina Kostner was on Friday banned for 16 months for helping her former boyfriend evade a doping control, the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) confirmed.
The 2012 world champion had been charged with assisting Olympic race walker gold medallist Alex Schwazer as he attempted to evade a doping control in Oberstdorf, Germany in July 2012, and for her lack of cooperation while being interviewed by investigators.
Anti-doping prosecutors had requested a ban of four years and three months against five-time European champion Kostner, who has not competed since winning Olympic bronze in Sochi.
The suspension could signal the end of 27-year-old Kostner`s career as it will also rule her out of the European and world championships in 2016.
Kostner`s lawyer Giovanni Fontana told the Italian press he would be appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.
Italian Schwazer won Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008 but was prevented from defending his title in London after testing positive in the lead-up to the Games for the banned blood booster EPO (erythropoietin).