Alex Schwazer gets doping ban

ROME -- Italy's anti-doping tribunal has banned former Olympic race walk champion Alex Schwazer for 3½ years.

Schwazer won the 50-kilometer event at the 2008 Beijing Games. He was excluded from the London Olympics after testing positive for EPO before the games.

The Italian Olympic Committee's anti-doping prosecutor had asked the court for a maximum four-year ban. But the tribunal on Tuesday imposed a 3½-year ban that expires Jan. 29, 2016.

Schwazer failed an out-of-competition test before arriving in London and was removed from Italy's team before competing. He then admitted using the blood-boosting hormone EPO and said he was quitting the sport.

Schwazer has also admitted to consulting with Lance Armstrong's banned sport doctor, Michele Ferrari.

Schwazer maintains he was clean at the time of the Beijing Olympics.