Italian Alex Schwazer Gets 8-Year Ban For Steroids Week Before Olympic Race Walking Final

Stephen Douglas

I’m sure a tiny part of the Olympic news cycle once every four years includes obligatory articles marveling at the fact that race walking is an honest to Phelps Olympic event. Still, I can’t believe race walking is a real, actual, official Olympic event. Anyway, if you want to watch guys walk 20km, that happens tomorrow. The women walk off next Friday. Right after the men finish their 50km walk. Seriously.

One athlete who won’t be walking next week is 2008 race walk gold medalist Alex Schwazer. The Italian tested positive for a steroid in May. He was banned for 8-years. He appealed the suspension, claiming that he didn’t know he took anything, but that ban was upheld today. Schwazer recently completed a 45-month suspension for erythropoietin, “blood booster.”

Race walking!