quote:At the national summer championships in September Anna Kistanova returned a positive for furosemide, a banned diuretic (not a doping substance in and of itself but used as a masking agent), which is why she's been kind of on the down low this season, after some ok performances the season before last. With Vishnevskaya and Usanova/Klimina the clear top 2 in the team, it wasn't especially shocking to not see her around with Raikova being preferred in the third race entry, but now we know why. The ban lasts two years so she'll miss the 2018-19 season but be eligible to return after that if she so wishes.
Tl;drquote:A pretty remarkable and incendiary set of comments have come out from Czech journalist and presenter Pavel Novotný about the mysterious absence of Gabriela Koukalová. And really, there's only two outcomes from this. Either he's telling the truth, in which case it's a sad outcome and a pretty terrible way for it all to become public, or he's lying, in which case his comments are scandalous and likely libellous.
Apparently, first off, it would seem that struggles with an eating disorder have been partly responsible for her struggles. This wouldn't seem too far-fetched and is even quite understandable; compared to some of the rail-thin types like Kaisa, Dasha or Miri, Gabi is less naturally slight than them, and given her position at the forefront of skiers, perhaps keeping weight down to compete season-long at that level had an effect. Happily, though, regardless of the veracity of the statement regarding the illness/disorder, Novotný does say that she has recovered, so that is good news.
The second comment that's drawn a lot of attention is the statement that she has in fact done next to no training in the off-season. That would seem odd, but it does tie in to the official story regarding her calf muscle pains, because ultimately if going out training leaves you in agony, I can understand not doing much of it. And simultaneously she did damage a season a few years back by focusing more on her media commitments than her off-season training, and if she'd made the decision, painful though it may be, not to compete this season, it is easy to see that coming into play as well - although she did then keep the media strung along with the "when will she return?" storyline. Novotný had more to say about that as well.
The next point starts to get a bit more disparaging, suggesting that Gabi became rather full of herself and had poor relationships with her teammates as a result. Certainly you could see traits of that - the focus on media commitments above and beyond training showed hints that she was just as interested in being a "star" as being a "sports star", and as I've discussed before, the fact everything about her seems to be manufactured with her public persona in mind leaves her seeming less than genuine to me and is a large part of why I don't like her, but because that was very much a public face, I wasn't sure that she would be like that when the cameras weren't rolling, and certainly that successful Czech team didn't seem to show any signs of dissent a couple of years ago. Sure, those relay successes seem to have dried up, despite no change in personnel, but I didn't get the impression of discord.
The final "revelation" (if you can call it that, again, it depends on the veracity of the claim) is that not only will we not see Gabi again next season, we will not see Gabi again full stop. Of course, this in and of itself would be rife with speculation, it would be an even more out of nowhere retirement than Neuner's seemed when it was first announced - had Gabi competed this season and decided to retire post Olympics, that wouldn't have raised many eyebrows, of course, but on such a low note and after a protracted absence seems a bit, well, strange. I'm sure that, should Novotný's claim come to pass, there would be much discussion about her reasons, although I do think there's a possibility that, like Neuner, we may find her and Petr starting a family before long, which would make it much more explicable.
I will say, I am told the language of the interview is much more incendiary than my somewhat sanitized version and much more direct (I've had a bit of a think about what the claims mean, or could mean, in the context of what we already know). Novotný also apparently has a reputation as an agitant and a controversy magnet, so a lot of these claims even if not false could well be trumped-up for soundbite / story value. I think realistically we have to wait until either Gabi responds to the press attention given to these claims, or a few months down the line once some more realistic traction has come to pass, before we assess them properly, but it's rather put the cat among the pigeons.
wat het ook is, het is treurig. Ik mis de silent ban verklaring, die altijd naar boven komt in dit soort lange periodes van afwezigheid. Niet dat ik reden heb om daar vanuit te gaan maar het is een gebruikelijke speculatie.quote:Op dinsdag 3 april 2018 10:22 schreef heywoodu het volgende:
En nog wat leesvoer van een week of twee terug over Koukalova.
Tsjechische journalist komt met drie zaken/speculaties:
- Kutrelatie met teamgenotes want veel meer geďnteresseerd in imagno en het zijn van een ster
- Einde carričre