Kayak racer penalized for drugging rival

Kayak racer penalized for drugging rival

A Japanese kayak racer who drugged a rival at a national championship event has been banned from competing for 8 years.

Yasuhiro Suzuki, 32, was penalized after he admitted he drugged a fellow competitor at the competition in Ishikawa prefecture last September.

His disqualification by the Japan Anti-Doping Agency was announced by the Japan Canoe Federation on Tuesday.

Federation officials said Suzuki put a banned muscle-strengthening substance into a drink belonging to Seiji Komatsu.

Komatsu drank the beverage and tested positive in a doping test after the competition. But he denied taking drugs, prompting the federation to investigate.

Federation officials say Suzuki told them that he was frustrated and did not think he could win. He reportedly added that he did not think the drug would be detected in the test.

Suzuki was aiming to secure a slot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Komatsu was provisionally disqualified from competing in October, but the punishment has now been nullified.

Japan Sports Agency chief Daichi Suzuki said on Tuesday that while he cannot yet officially comment, it would be extremely regrettable if the claims are true.

He said this is something that has not been heard of very much in Japan in the past.