Race walking is a real sport. Real human beings flew to London (the real London) to compete in this very real sport. They don’t run–they walk. For 50 kilometers. And then the winner gets a real gold medal.
The guy who got the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics, Italian Alex Schwazer, won’t be getting another gold medal this year. That’s because he was just kicked out of the Olympics for failing a drug test.
A recent blood test revealed that Schwazer had traces of EPO (erythropoietin) in his system. This is a substance that stimulates red blood cells. Apparently, having extra red blood cells makes you better at walking. Who knew?
Schwazer’s failed test was announced on Monday, but it wasn’t revealed until today what he actually tested positive for.
Was it worth it? Schwazer won’t be getting a gold medal, so he’s probably pretty upset about that. He’s brought shame to his country, so that’s not great, either. On the plus side, however, Schwazer won’t have to walk 50 kilometers looking like a total buffoon: