Sports

Italian Olympic team names blood-boosting hormone used by defending champ Schwazer

FILE - the Aug. 22, 2008 file photo shows Italy's Alex Schwazer, right, leading Yohan Diniz of France on his way to winning the gold medal in the men's 50-kilometer walk during the athletics competitions near the National Stadium at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Italian Olympic team said Monday, Aug. 6, 2012 that defending 50k walk champion Alex Schwazer tested positive for doping. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inoue)

FILE - the Aug. 22, 2008 file photo shows Italy's Alex Schwazer, right, leading Yohan Diniz of France on his way to winning the gold medal in the men's 50-kilometer walk during the athletics competitions near the National Stadium at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Italian Olympic team said Monday, Aug. 6, 2012 that defending 50k walk champion Alex Schwazer tested positive for doping. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inoue)

The Italian Olympic team says it expelled 50-kilometer walk defending champion Alex Schwazer from the London Games because he tested positive for the blood-boosting hormone EPO.

The national Olympic committee says it has now suspended Schwazer and formally opened a disciplinary case. The 27-year-old walker was scheduled to defend his Olympic title Saturday and never arrived in London.

Schwazer was removed from the team Monday because of the results of a doping control sample taken July 30 by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Italian officials confirmed Tuesday that Schwazer's test revealed traces of EPO, which increases production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells.