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Russian figure skater Koshevaya slapped with 2-year ban over doping abuse

Russia may be stripped of its bronze medal of the 2019 Winter Universiade

MOSCOW, October 16. /TASS/. Russian figure skater Alexandra Koshevaya has been sanctioned with a two-year suspension for violating anti-doping rules during the 2019 Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk, the press service of the International Skating Federation (ISU) said in a statement on Wednesday.

Koshevaya’s doping sample, collected during the 2019 Winter Universiade, has tested positive for a banned performance enhancing drug Torasemide.

"Following an In-Competition Anti-Doping test carried out under FISU testing authority on March 7, 2019, the ISU on March 26, 2019, received the laboratory result of [Koshevaya’s] sample <…> with an adverse analytical finding for the presence of Torasemide," the statement reads.

The suspension term of the 19-year-old figure skater comes into force starting on March 7, 2019 and the decision of the ISU may be appealed within a period of 21 days.

The ISU also said in its statement that the Russian athlete had admitted that she consumed the banned drug and decided against opening Sample B of her doping test. Koshevaya claimed that she took the drug to heal a swelling on her leg not long before the Universiade.

"On April 24, 2019, the Alleged Offender filed her explanation and admitted having taken Torasemide because she had had a swelling (edema) of her foot not long before the Universiade after reading in the internet that the substance may help to remove the swelling," the statement reads.

"She further stated that she was aware that diuretics are forbidden but she had not known that Torasemide is a diuretic because it is not contained in the WADA Prohibited List," according to ISU. "She underlined to have taken the medicine with no intentions other than to remove the swelling but admitted her mistake not to have inquired about the details of Torasemide and not consulted a sports doctor before its intake."

The statement added that Koshevaya had regretted "what had happened" and took an obligation "never to take any medicine without prior consultation with specialists again."

Konstantin Bezmaternykh, the head coach of Koshevaya, told TASS commenting on the incident that it was ‘a stupid decision’ for the athlete to make regarding the banned substance.

"We had no weight problems and her optimal weight was about 43 kilograms," Bezmaternykh said in an interview with TASS. "However, she had a slight ankle injury and then she read somewhere that Torasemide would help to relieve the swelling [on her leg]."

"I have no other comments to make but to say that it was a stupid thing," the coach continued.

"She is 19 years old and everything depends on her," Bezmaternykh said. "There were different situations and various athletes decided either making a comeback to sports or against it."

"She had been practicing every day and much to the detriment of her school studies, but it played an extremely important part in her life," the coach added.

Koshevaya won the bronze of the 2019 Winter Universiade in pair skating with partner Dmitry Bushlanov.