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Alex Schwazer, OMRI (born December 26, 1984), is an Italian race walker. He was the Olympic 50k walk champion but retired during the 2012 Olympics after being disqualified for doping offences.

Alex Schwazer
Personal information
Born (1984-12-26) 26 December 1984 (age 34)
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight73 km
CountryItaly Italy
ClubC.S. Carabinieri
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)
  • 20 km walk: 1:18:24 (2010)
  • 50 km walk; 3:36:04 (2007)


Schwazer was born in Sterzing, South Tyrol, in northern Italy. Schwazer won the bronze medal in the 50 km race at the 2005 World Championships in a national record time of 3:41.54 hours. At the 2007 World Championships he finished tenth in the 20 km race and won bronze again in the 50 km race (with the quickest finish ever measured on this event, of 3:37:04.08). He was the runner-up at the 2008 IAAF World Race Walking Cup and went on to win gold at the 50 km walk at the 2008 Summer Olympics, setting a new Olympic record with his time of 3:37:09.[1]

He started his 2010 campaign with two wins on the 2010 IAAF World Race Walking Challenge circuit: first he won the 20 km at the Gran Premio Città di Lugano in an Italian record time, breaking Maurizio Damilano's 18-year-old record with a time of 1:18:23.20.[2] Just prior to the IAAF World Race Walking Cup he won at the Coppa Città di Sesto San Giovanni.[3] At the 2010 European Athletics Championships, he failed to finish the 50 km walk, but doubled up in the 20 km and took the silver medal behind Russia's Stanislav Emelyanov. He competed in the 20 km race at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics, but managed only ninth place.

He began 2012 in strong form. First he walked an Italian record of 1:17:30 hours to win at the Memorial Mario Albisetti 20 km walk, then he had the fourth best 50 km time of his career a week later to win at the Dudinska patdesiatka.[4][5]

Doping casesEdit

Schwazer was excluded from the 2012 Summer Olympics in London after an "adverse result" from a doping test.[6] Schwazer said "My career is finished...I wanted to be stronger for this Olympics, I made a mistake". He announced his decision to quit athletics and described the result as the "biggest blow of my life".[6] He was subsequently given a three-and-a-half year competition ban by the Italian National Olympic Committee in April 2013. Schwazer's girlfriend at the time of the offence, figure skater Carolina Kostner, later admitted to prosecutors in Bolzano that she had lied to inspectors from the World Anti-Doping Agency shortly before the 2012 Games when they visited her home looking for Schwazer, claiming that he was not there so he could avoid being tested. She also told the prosecutors that Schwazer slept in an altitude chamber, which is not banned by WADA but is illegal in Italy.[7]

In May 2016, a negative doping control sample from January was re-analysed and found positive. Schwazer was informed about the positive in June, a few weeks before the Olympic Games. He appealed the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. On 11 August 2016 the court dismissed his appeal and imposed an 8-year period of ineligibility on him, until 7 July 2024.[8]

On June 12, 2019, FIDAL canceled all results achieved by the athlete for a doping course starting March 18, 2012, thus also canceling its Italian record 1:17:30 made in Lugano on March 18, 2012.[9]

But la Repubblica points out the strange aspects of this doping affair.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Athletics Men's 50km Walk Detailed Results" (Press release). The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. 22 August 2008. Archived from the original on 25 August 2008. Retrieved 22 August 2008.
  2. ^ "Schwazer sets Italian record at European Athletics Race Walking meet in Lugano". European Athletics. 14 March 2010. Archived from the original on 16 March 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
  3. ^ Sampaolo, Diego (2 May 2010). "Schwazer and Santos dominate in Sesto San Giovanni - IAAF Race Walking Challenge". IAAF. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  4. ^ Sampaolo, Diego (19 March 2012). "Schwazer clocks sensational 1:17:30 in Lugano". IAAF. Archived from the original on 21 June 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  5. ^ Alfons, Juck (25 March 2012). "Schwazer clocks 50Km world leader in Dudince". IAAF. Archived from the original on 2012-04-02. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  6. ^ a b O'Leary, Naomi (28 July 2012). "Walk champion Schwazer excluded for doping". Reuters. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  7. ^ "Carolina Kostner skips hearing". ESPN. 19 September 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  8. ^ Rio 2016 Olympics: 50km walker Alex Schwazer banned for eight years
  9. ^ "Stano primatista italiano dei 20 km di marcia" (in Italian). 12 June 2019. Retrieved 15 June 2019. Annullati tutti risultati conseguiti da Alex Schwazer a far data dal 18 marzo 2012. L’1h17:45 ottenuto dall'azzurro delle Fiamme Oro sabato scorso a La Coruna è record nazionale assoluto
  10. ^ [1]

External linksEdit