Carolina Kostner is set to return to action next month ©Getty Images

Olympic bronze medallist Carolina Kostner of Italy is set to return to action next month as she continues to try to rebuild her career after serving a 21-month ban for being complicit in the cover-up of her former boyfriend and doping cheat Alex Schwazer.

Kostner has not competed since March 29 but is due to take part in the International Skating Union (ISU)-sanctioned Golden Spin competition in Zagreb in Croatia from December 7 to 10.

The 29-year-old was initially suspended for 16 months in January 2015 for helping Beijing 2008 Olympic race walking champion Schwazer but her ban was later extended to 21 months. 

The Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) had been seeking to increase Kostner’s time away from the sport from 16 months to two years.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) had declared her eligible to compete from January 1 of this year after she settled a dispute with the CONI and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Her suspension was backdated to April 1, 2014, based on "procedural delays that are not attributable to Ms Kostner", CAS said.

Italy's Carolina Kostner, the 2012 world champion, has not competed since March 2014 ©Getty Images
Italy's Carolina Kostner, the 2012 world champion, has not competed since March 2014 ©Getty Images

Kostner, the 2012 world champion and the Olympic bronze medallist in the singles event Sochi 2014, admitted that she had lied to drug testers when they arrived to test Schwazer in July 2012.

She denied, however, any involvement with her former boyfriend’s doping.

According to lawyer Giovanni Fontana, she told inspectors that Schwazer was not home in order to "respect his privacy" before he was subsequently caught by testers in Italy.

Anti-doping prosecutors had originally called for a four-year ban which would have ruled her out of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang before settling on the agreed 16-month term.

The news marks an end to the ongoing saga involving Kostner, who has been in extensive training for the past few months.

She will also take to the ice in the Italian Championship Egna, a few kilometers from her hometown of Bolzano, from December 14 to 19, according to Italian news agency ANSA.

Kostner, a six-time World Championships medallist, then hopes to compete at the European Championships in Ostrava in the Czech Republic from January 25 to 29.

 The Italian has won five European singles titles, with her last success at the continental event coming in Zagreb in 2013.

Schwazer was recently banned for eight years after he failed a drugs test just weeks after he returned from a three-year and nine-month doping suspension.