Olympic walk champion Matej Toth suspended in doping case

The reigning Olympic and world champion in the men's 50-kilometre race-walk, Matej Toth, has been suspended over an alleged breach of anti-doping rules (Kin Cheung/AP)

MONACO — The reigning Olympic and world champion in the men’s 50-kilometre race-walk, Matej Toth, has been suspended over an alleged breach of anti-doping rules.

The IAAF’s Athletics Integrity Unit said Sunday that the Slovakian was provisionally suspended due to irregularities in his biological passport, which tracks blood data over time for signs of drug use. He faces a potential four-year ban.

The AIU confirmed Toth remains suspended "pending the outcome of his case, adding: "As is normal process, and in order to protect the integrity of the case, the AIU will refrain from further comment until a final decision has been made."

If Toth is found guilty, it would be a heavy blow to race-walking, which is already reeling from a string of doping bans for Russian walkers who dominated major championships for many years.

Toth has previously spoken out against doping and backed the Russian team being barred from last year’s Olympics.

He had been due to compete next month at the world championships in London.

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