Tuesday, 16 January, 2018

Japanese kayaker banned eight years for lacing rival's drink

Japanese kayak racer Yasuhiro Suzuki Japanese kayak racer Yasuhiro Suzuki
Troy Mann | 10 January, 2018, 11:06

A Japanese kayaker has been banned for eight years for spiking the drink of a rival so he would fail a doping test.

The Japan Times reported that the pair had been among the top prospects for the nation at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, and were teammates at last year's canoe sprint world championships in the Czech Republic. Komatsu's denials caused the Japan Canoe Federation to investigate, which led to Suzuki admitting that he'd slipped an anabolic steroid in Komatsu's drink.

Yasuhiro Suzuki, 32, drugged his key rival at Japan's national championships in September past year.

In November, the 32-year-old Suzuki admitted to the federation that he spiked the drink of his 25-year-old rival with the banned substance methandienone, a muscle-building agent commonly known by the brand name Dianabol.

JADA said it was the first incident involving "deliberate contamination" by another athlete in its history, according to Bleacher Report.

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Suzuki issued a written apology through his lawyer the same day, saying he "failed to exert efforts" in his sport and acted in a way that is "unbecoming of an athlete and a member of society".

The canoe federation, which launched its investigation after Komatsu maintained his innocence over the doping test, found Suzuki had made repeated attempts to sabotage multiple competitors, employing tactics such as stealing equipment.

"Suzuki's conduct is totally contrary to the spirit of sporting fair play", it said in a statement. "Until Mr. Suzuki confessed, I was in a bad mental state". "I did it as I thought he would overwhelm me".

Sources related to the federation said that it is also looking into installing surveillance cameras at locations to keep drinks in major competitions and training sessions for the Japanese national team.

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