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A Netflix star's Olympic champion dreams were shattered in one of the strangest doping cases ever

A Netflix star's Olympic champion dreams were shattered in one of the strangest doping cases ever

Schwatzer won the 50 km race walk at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in an Olympic record time of 3:37:09. Four years later, at the London Olympics, he tested positive for one of the most famous doping agents, EPO, and pleaded guilty.

He was subsequently banned for three years and nine months and, under Italian law, given a suspended prison sentence and a fine. He served his suspension and prepared for the 2016 Rio Olympics knowing he wanted to return at the highest level.

All went well, until the spring of 2016, when additional testing of the biological passport data unexpectedly revealed traces of synthetic testosterone in his body. Schwatzer did not understand how this all happened, since he knew about the incident that occurred four years ago. He suspected that someone had tampered with his sample for some reason, but he nonetheless hoped to compete in Rio. He himself qualified, and even traveled to the Olympics venue when the decision was made: he was found guilty, so he was banned for eight years as a repeat offender.

And here the complications began. Schweitzer had to think not only about his sporting career, but also about his private life, as there was a real chance that he would not escape a suspended sentence this time.

Like the Netflix seriesThe path to redemption) In detail, Schwatzer defended himself by saying that someone mixed testosterone into the aforementioned sample out of revenge, and that traces of testosterone DNA, which by definition came from another person, were removed using a special procedure. The “person” in this case is either Italian Athletics or the International Federation (World Athletics) could represent his leadership level, as Schwatzer participated in the first doping trial with two Italian doctors, Giuseppe Vecchetto And Pierluigi Fiorella He testified against – details of systematic Russian doping were actually found on the computer of the two aforementioned doctors, long before the global scandal broke out…

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Since then, several decisions have been made in the case, which lasted years and is still ongoing: the Italian court acquitted him, and although the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) manipulation is considered unlikely based on expert opinion, that is European Court of Human Rights Your submission accepted. The ruling has not yet been issued in Strasbourg.

And that's how we got to where we are today. The eight-year ban expires in the summer, and Schwatzer has decided he wants to return to elite sport. He had his sights set on the Paris Olympics, which is why he appealed to the International Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), to see if the suspension will be reduced and he can still start somewhere during the qualifying period.

On the other hand, after discussions with the World Anti-Doping Agency and World Athletics, the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected the appeal on Friday 15 March, so Schweitzer has no chance of getting out.

The question is whether he will go to the next Olympics after that, as he celebrates his 40th birthday next December.

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