Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Japanese kayaker banned from competition for spiking rival's drink

Japanese kayaker banned from competition for spiking rival's drink

Suzuki laced Seiji Komatsu's bottle of water with an anabolic steroid to ensure he failed a drugs test at the event, which forms part of the qualification process for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Komatsu was Suzuki's teammate at the 2017 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships, but he was also Suzuki's competition for a potential spot on Japan's 2020 Olympic kayaking team.

Komatsu denied having ingested a banned substance, but during the investigation acknowledged that his drink had been spiked without his knowledge.

Suzuki admitted spiking the drink after receiving an intensive anti-doping lecture during a training camp, according to the federation.

The agency is said to be looking into banning the canoeist for life given his past conduct, which includes attempting to sabotage other competitors by stealing their equipment.

Komatsu was disqualified after testing positive but the disqualification was later nullified.

Japan Canoe Federation Managing Director Toshihiko Furuya apologized for the incident, which deals a blow to the image of Japanese sports ahead of the country's hosting of the Olympics.

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Komatsu subsequently tested positive and was initially banned.

The canoeing body also said it will invite lecturers to create a speaking program based around the ideas of justice in sports and the spirit of fair play in competitions.

Suzuki told the federation: "I was fretting".

And Sports Agency Director Daichi Suzuki: "An incident of this nature is unheard of in the history of sports in Japan and it is very disappointing".

"It is the kind of thing that has never been heard of in Japan's sporting history".

Police in Ishikawa Prefecture are reportedly investigating the drink-spiking after Komatsu filed a complaint.

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