- Jul 18, 2010
Kayaker spiked rival’s drink in attempt to win Olympic spot
Other sources identify the anabolic steroid as methandienone, a pharmaceutical name for the oral steroid Dianabol.By SHINICHI CHUBACHI/ Staff Writer
January 9, 2018 at 16:45 JST
A kayaker desperate to make the Olympic team spiked a water bottle of a rival with a banned substance at the 2017 Canoe Sprint Japan Championships.
As a result, the victim failed a doping test and was disqualified. However, the disqualification was nullified on Jan. 9 after the scandal came to light.
“I wanted to be in the kayak four in the Tokyo Olympic Games, but I was ranked fifth with a younger kayaker higher than me. If this continued, I knew I would fail to qualify for the Olympics so I put in (the banned drug),” Yasuhiro Suzuki, 32, was quoted by a source as saying.
After committing the sneaky "crime," Suzuki, who has never competed at the Olympic level, became wracked with guilt. He confessed to the Japan Canoe Federation and apologized to rival Seiji Komatsu.
Suzuki put the banned anabolic agent, a muscle-building substance, into a water bottle belonging to the 25-year-old Komatsu on Sept. 11, during the kayak single 200 meters event in the Japan Championships in Ishikawa Prefecture.
The previous day, Suzuki performed poorly in the kayak single 500 meters event on Sept. 10. His aim was to finish high enough in the event to make the kayak four 500-meter team for the Tokyo Olympics.
Suzuki's dastardly act was announced by canoe federation director Osahiro Haruzono on Jan. 9.
“We apologize for causing trouble, not only to canoe athletes but also to those of all other sports,” he said.
Suzuki bought the anabolic agent through an online shopping website.
When Komatsu came up positive in the doping test, he was temporarily disqualified despite denying he had taken a banned drug.
On Jan. 9, the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA) announced it will ban Suzuki from competition for eight years. It also nullified Komatsu's disqualification.
Suzuki had retired previously after missing out on the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. However, his wife and friends urged him to try again and he resumed kayaking.
Both kayakers represented Japan at the 2017 Canoe Sprint World Championships, held in the Czech Republic.
“If it is a fact, it is extremely regrettable. It is the kind of thing that has never been heard of in Japan’s sporting history," said Daichi Suzuki, commissioner of the government’s Japan Sports Agency. "It's the first time I have heard of such a malicious case.”