Japan kayaker banned for 8 years for spiking drink of rival

In this November 2010, photo, Japan's Yasuhiro Suzuki competes in the mens single kayak race at the 16th Asian Games in Shanwei, China. The top Japanese canoe sprinter has been banned for eight years, disqualifying him from the Tokyo Olympics, for lacing his rival's drink with a prohibited drug which caused him to fail a doping test. The Japan Anti-Doping Agency said Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018 that Suzuki was banned for putting an anabolic steroid into the drink bottle of his rival at a national championship in September. (Kyodo News via AP)

TOKYO — A Japanese kayaker has been banned for eight years for spiking the drink of a rival so he would fail a doping test.

Yasuhiro Suzuki drugged his key rival Seiji Komatsu at the Japan championships in September.

Suzuki spiked a drink with an anabolic steroid, causing Komatsu to fail a doping test, the Japan Anti-Doping Agency said on Tuesday.

The Japan Canoe Federation began investigating after Komatsu tested positive but denied ever taking drugs.

After Komatsu tested positive, Suzuki admitted putting a muscle-building supplement containing the banned steroid methandienone in his drink.

Suzuki was hoping to qualify for the 2020 Olympics at home. But he will also miss the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

The incident is Japan's first case of an athlete failing a doping test due to deliberate contamination, according to the Japan Anti-Doping Agency, which handed down the eight-year ban.

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