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Japanese kayaker Yasuhiro Suzuki has been handed an eight-year ban after spiking rival Seiji Komatsu’s drink so he would fail a drug test.
Per ESPN, the Japan Anti-Doping Agency revealed on Tuesday that Suzuki spiked Komatsu’s drink with an anabolic steroid back in September at the national championships.
An investigation was sparked when Komatsu failed a doping test and was disqualified from the 2017 Canoe Sprint Japan Championships but denied taking drugs.
Suzuki, 32, subsequently admitted to spiking his drink, and per Japanese public broadcaster NHK, he told federation officials “he was frustrated and did not think he could win.”
According to ESPN’s report, the Japan Canoe Federation has confirmed it has overturned the sanctions it handed down to Komatsu, 25, after his failed test.
Additionally, JADA explained the incident is the first in Japan involving “deliberate contamination” by one athlete on another.
Both Suzuki and Komatsu had been expected to compete for a place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.