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Olympic champ Alex Schwazer excluded for doping

Italian won gold at Beijing for 50km-walk

Olympic champ Alex Schwazer excluded for doping

(supersedes previous) (ANSA) - London, August 6 - Italy's 50km-walk defending Olympic champion Alex Schwazer was excluded on Monday from the Summer Olympic Games after failing a drug test, his coach Michele Didoni confirmed. "Less than an hour ago, Schwazer called me and said he had some bad news: he was the one pulled out for doping," said Didoni. The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) said earlier on Monday that it had excluded an unnamed athlete from its team for the London Games because of a suspected doping offence. The 27-year-old was set to participate in his event on Saturday. The 2008 Beijing gold medalist tested positive for the blood-boosting hormone EPO according to exams taken on July 30 in Oberstdorf, Germany, where he was training, local sources said. A police officer and former ice-hockey player from the northern Italian town of Vitipeno, Schwazer set an Olympic record in Beijing by covering the longest race in the athletics program in three hours, 37 minutes and nine seconds. His girlfriend is Italy's figure-skating world champion Carolina Kostner.

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