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2008 Olympic champion race walker caught doping
2008 Olympic champion in 50K walk tests positive for doping, removed from Italian team
By The Associated Press

LONDON (AP) Defending Olympic 50K race walk champion Alex Schwazer tested positive for doping and will miss the London Games.

The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) said Monday that Schwazer had been removed from the team.

Earlier Monday, the team said an unidentified athlete had failed a doping test conducted for the World Anti-Doping Agency before arriving in London. Details of the alleged doping offense were not given.

The 27-year-old Schwazer had been due to defend his 2008 Olympic title in the 50-kilometer walk on Sunday.

Schwazer won gold at the Beijing Games in an Olympic record time of 3 hours, 37 minutes, 9 seconds.

The Italian athletics federation said it was notified of Schwazer's doping test results on Monday afternoon.

"While fully agreeing with CONI's choice, (the federation) expresses deep disappointment for what happened, underlining its strong stance of condemnation against every form of doping," it said in a statement.

Schwazer, a two-time world championships bronze medalist, works as a police officer, according to his biography on the official London Olympics website.

He is one of the best known athletes in the 286-member Italian team at the London Games.

Schwazer's profile has been raised at home because his girlfriend, Carolina Kostner, is the reigning women's figure skating world champion.

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