A doping case against retired Italian Olympic 50km walk champion Alex Schwazer was dismissed by a Bolzano court on Thursday.

Schwazer of Italy celebrates on the podium after winning the 50 kilometres race walk at the World R

FILE PHOTO: Alex Schwazer of Italy celebrates on the podium after winning the 50 kilometres race walk at the World Race Walking Team Championships in Rome, Italy, May 8, 2016. REUTERS/Max Rossi

ROME: A doping case against retired Italian Olympic 50km walk champion Alex Schwazer was dismissed by a Bolzano court on Thursday.

Italian news agency ANSA reported that the court said it was “highly likely” that Schwazer’s urine samples were tampered with in 2016 to produce a positive test.

The court offered a full acquittal, saying Schwazer “did not commit the crime”.

The International Athletics Federation (IAAF) and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) were described as being “opaque” during the case.

The 2008 Olympic champion was banned for three years and nine months after admitting using the erythropoietin (EPO) blood booster in 2012.

He returned to win the world championship title in 2016, but was then banned for eight years and missed the Rio Olympics after losing an appeal in a second doping case, when a retest of a sample showed traces of steroids.

Schwazer denied knowingly taking the substance and his trainer, Sandro Donati, said he was the victim of “sporting homicide” by the IAAF.

(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Dan Grebler)



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