That Was The Week That Was In Figure Skating (15-21 September 2014)

Here’s a short recap of some of the things that happened during the past week in the world of figure skating.

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Kostner Misses Hearing Into Ex-Partner’s Doping

Carolina Kostner hit the headlines this week when she did not appear at an Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) inquest into her former partner’s use of performance enhancing drugs. Alex Schwazer, the 2008 Olympic champion in the 50km walk, tested positive for EPO immediately prior to the 2012 Olympics in London and was subsequently banned from competing. At the time, Schwazer had stated that he had kept his doping hidden from Kostner. However, it has emerged from reports of testimony published by prosecutors from Schwazer and Kostner’s hometown of Bolzano that on a single occasion Kostner allegedly aided Schwazer avoid a random drug test when officials from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) came looking for him at her home in Oberstdorf, Germany. She is also alleged to have revealed that he slept in an altitude tent which, while not contravening WADA rules, is against the law in Italy.

The assistance Kostner gave Schwazer to escape the WADA testers could potentially have negative repercussions on her status as an eligible skater with a bar on appearances in ISU-sanctioned competitions and shows for up to four years. There has been no information forthcoming on whether Kostner could also be punished with a retroactive ban and her medals rescinded.

Kostner was the main attraction at this weekend’s Intimissimi Opera On Ice show in Verona, Italy. The CONI hearing has been rescheduled for a later date.

Surgery Knocks Bobrova/Soloviev Out Of Grand Prix

Dmitri Soloviev will have surgery to repair a knee surgery which has forced him and his dance partner Ekaterina Bobrova to pull out of their Grand Prix assignments in America and France. They had previously withdrawn from next week’s Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany. Recovery is scheduled to last four to six weeks and the 2013 European champions hope to be back in time to compete at their national championships.

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Lombardia Trophy Second Stop On ISU Challenger Series

With the ISU Junior Grand Prix on hiatus this week, all eyes in the world of figure skating were fixed solely on the PalaSesto rink in Sesto San Giovanni, Milan for the Lombardia Trophy, the second event in the ISU Challenger Series.

The ladies’ title was won by Satoko Miyahara from Japan with a total score of 183.90 points. This is her second victory in Italy in 2014 as she also claimed gold at the Gardena Spring Trophy in April. Hannah Miller and Angela Wang, both from the United States, took silver and bronze respectively. Miller was in seventh place after the short and leapfrogged her way to second with a very strong performance in the free.

Richard Dornbush captured the second successive crown in the men’s event for the U.S. when he triumphed over Takahito Mura from Japan by less than two points in total. Adian Pitkeev finished in third for Russia.

A small field of four battled it out for the pairs title and in the end Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier comfortably came through for first place. This was the first senior competition victory for the Americans. Bianca Manacordi and Niccolo Macii of Italy were well back in second, while the new pairing of Vera Bazarova and Andrei Deputat from Russia had a rocky start to their competitive career when they plummeted from first to third after an error-filled free.

Grand Prix Assignments Updated

Julianne Seguin of Canada has filled the spot vacated by Kaetlyn Osmond at Skate Canada and fellow countrywoman Veronik Mallet did the same at Trophee Eric Bompard.

Meanwhile, Rika Hongo of Japan has been added to the roster at Rostelecom Cup and Ukrainians Elizaveta Uzmanteva and Roman Talan have been removed from the entry list at Skate America.

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