The 2008 Olympic 50km race walk gold medallist returned from a three-year and nine-month doping ban to win at the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships in May
Alex Schwazer has again tested positive for a banned substance, La Gazzetta dello Sport reported on Wednesday (June 22).
According to the Italian newspaper, 2008 Olympic 50km race walk gold medallist Schwazer, who returned from a three-year and nine-month doping ban to win at the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships in May, tested positive for traces of steroids in a May 12 retest of a doping sample taken on January 1.
Schwazer’s winning performance at the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships in Rome on May 8 had seen him qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
The Italian athletics federation (FIDAL) confirmed to The Associated Press that the news in La Gazzetta dello Sport is accurate, the news agency has reported.
“At the moment I’m shocked,” FIDAL president Alfio Giomi is quoted by The Associated Press as saying. “We’re attempting to understand it.”
But The Associated Press also reported that Schwazer’s lawyer, Gerhard Brandstaetter, said the newspaper report was “false and unbelievable”.
Schwazer later spoke at a press conference and was quoted by Reuters as saying: “This is not like four years ago. This time I don’t have to apologise because I have done nothing wrong. Probably someone doesn’t want me to go to the Olympics.”
Schwazer had been handed his three-year and nine-month doping ban after after testing positive for EPO before the 2012 Olympic Games.
The Italian race walker had broken down in tears at a press conference held after the news of his positive test in 2012.