08/07/2012 12:35 EDT | Updated 10/07/2012 05:12 EDT

Italian Olympic team: Suspended Olympic race walk champion Alex Schwazer doped with EPO

LONDON - The Italian Olympic team says the positive doping test that led to defending race walk champion Alex Schwazer being expelled from the London Olympics showed traces of the blood-boosting hormone EPO.

The national Olympic committee, CONI, says it has now suspended Schwazer and formally opened a disciplinary case.

CONI removed 27-year-old Schwazer from the Italian team Monday after getting 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.

The 50-kilometre walk champion was scheduled to defend his Olympic title Saturday, though never arrived in London.