CAS rejects Italian Alex Schwazer's appeal. GETTY IMAGES

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, has rejected Italian runner Alex Schwazer's appeal against the decision to suspend his eight-year ban for anti-doping violations.

The CAS has dismissed the appeal of Italian runner Alex Schwazer against the decision of the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of World Athletics (WA) of 10 November 2008. The decision, taken at the Italian's request, was to reduce the sanction period under Rule 10.7.1 (a) of the World Anti-Doping Code, which imposed a period of Ineligibility of eight years from 11 August 2016.

This sanction was imposed for his second anti-doping rule violation. Following the adverse analytical finding by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the WADA rejected the Athlete's "Substantial Assistance Request", which led to the dismissal of the appeal by CAS.

As a result, the contested decision is upheld and the period of Ineligibility imposed on Alex Schwazer remains in effect. Rule 10.7.1(a) of the WA ADR allows Athletes serving a period of Ineligibility to apply for a portion of that period to be suspended if they provide substantial assistance in the discovery or establishment of other ADR violations.

The CAS panel has issued the operative part of its decision. The reasoned decision will be communicated to the parties in due course and will be made public by CAS, although the parties may request confidentiality. The athlete's suspension ends on 7 July, just 19 days before the start of the Olympic Games, leaving no time for him to potentially qualify.

Alex Schwazer after winning the 50km race walk medal ceremony in Beijing 2008. GETTY IMAGES
Alex Schwazer after winning the 50km race walk medal ceremony in Beijing 2008. GETTY IMAGES

WADA welcomes the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport not to suspend part of the period of ineligibility of Italian race walker Alex Schwazer, who has been serving an eight-year ban since 2016 for committing a second anti-doping rule violation. With this decision, WADA believes that justice has been served for the athletes and for clean sport, the organisation told Inside The Games.

The TAS decision comes just three months after WADA rejected the appeal of the 2008 Beijing Olympic 50km race walk champion. "The decission wasn't favourable. It's a very wrong decision and I'm paying for not accepting the verdict of sports justice, for fighting for my innocence," he said while training in the Big Brother house, where the lives of the contestants are recorded 24 hours a day. 

Schwazer, 39, managed to get the Italian justice system to rule in his favour after five years of legal wrangling. The acquittal came in February 2021, with the Bolzano court dismissing the case on the grounds that he had "not having committed the act", but the CAS confirmed that he would not be able to compete in Paris 2024 as he would not be able to compete in the qualifying rounds.

Prior to his 2016 ban, the athlete had already been suspended for three years and nine months in 2012 for using banned substances on the eve of the London Olympics, and had returned to competition in April 2016 at the World Walking Championships in Rome.