Japanese Kayaker Banned Eight Years For Lacing Rival’s Drink Before Drug Test

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Olympics canoe sprint

Photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images

To say Yasuhiro Suzuki is in hot water would be an understatement.

Suzuki, a professional kayaker from Japan, has been banned from competition for eight years after spiking the drink of a rival so he would fail a doping test.

The incident happened at last year’s national championships in Japan, where kayaker Seiji Komatsu was punished after testing positive for steroids. But the Japan Anti-Doping Agency said Tuesday that Suzuki laced Komatsu’s drink with an anabolic steroid in a deliberate attempt at sabotage.

The Japan Canoe Federation first launched an investigation after Komatsu tested positive but denied ever taking steroids. Suzuki later admitted to “putting a muscle-building supplement containing the banned steroid methandienone” in Komatsu’s drink before a drug test.

According to a report from the Japanese public broadcasting organization NHK, Suzuki told officials he targeted Komatsu because he was “frustrated” and “did not think he could win” at the national championships.

Both Suzuki and Komatsu were hoping to represent Japan at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. That dream obviously is dashed for Suzuki but now is alive for Komatsu, who initially was barred from competition after his failed test but has been reinstated after the latest revelations.

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