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If You're An Olympian Busted For Doping, This Is What To Do



It has become an Olympic tradition for an athlete or two or three to test positive for banned substances during or after the Games. Also traditional are the subsequent heartfelt denials, stone-faced defiance and/or mysterious disappearance of said suspected performance-enhanced athlete.

This year, however, we have a new response: The Weeping Confession.

Italy’s Alex Schwazer, the 2008 Olympic race walk gold medalist who was booted from the London Games on Monday after testing positive for blood bosster EPO, first agreed to a face-to-face interview on Italian national television RAI Uno.

He gets particularly choked up when referring to his girlfriend – Italian figure skating champion Carolina Kostner – to whom he lied about a mysterious box of “vitamins” he was keeping in their refrigerator.

Later, he held a press conference in the northern Italian city of Bolzano, where there was more shame – and more tears.

Still, some doubts remain about how complete the confession really was. Schwazer said he bought the banned substances on his own, traveling alone to Turkey after researching it on the Internet. He also says he never had used banned substances before last month, and was clean when he blew away the field in Beijing in the 50-kilometer walk in Olympic-record time.

In any case, on the human side, Schwazer said between sobs that he was quitting sports and hoping to “begin a normal life.”

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Our Next Four Days In Gaza: Digging For The Dead, Hunting For Food, Hoping Ceasefire Sticks

With Qatar now confirming that the temporary truce will begin Friday morning, ordinary Gazans may be able to breathe for the first time since Oct. 7. But for most, the task ahead is a mix of heartbreak and the most practical tasks to survive. And there’s the question hanging over all: can the ceasefire become permanent?

Photo of Palestinians looking for their belongings in the rubble of their housein Deir al-Balah, Gaza

Palestinians look for their belongings in the rubble of their housein Deir al-Balah, Gaza

Elias Kassem

It’s what just about everyone in Gaza has been waiting for: a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war is expected to begin Friday, bringing a respite to more than 2.3 million people who have been living under war and siege for seven straight weeks.

By the stipulations of the deal, the truce is expected to last four days, during which time Hamas will release hostages captured during their Oct. 7 assault and Israel will release Palestinian prisoners from their jails.

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While details of the negotiations continue, ordinary Palestinians know they may only have four days before the bombs starting dropping and tanks start rolling again.

Some will continue sifting through the rubble, looking to find trapped family members, after searches were interrupted by new rounds of air attacks.

Other Gazans will try to find shelter in what they’ve been told are safer areas in the south of Palestinian enclave. Some will hurry back to inspect their homes, especially in the northern half of the strip where Israeli ground forces have battled Palestinian militants for weeks.

Ahmed Abu Radwan says he will try to return to his northern town of Beit Lahia, with the aim of resuming digging the rubble of his home in hopes of pulling the bodies of his 8-year-old son Omar.

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