Jan 092018

TOKYO: Japan’s anti-doping body has banned a top canoeist for eight years after he spiked a rival’s drink with a banned substance to boost his own chances of selection for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The Japan Anti-Doping Agency slapped sprint canoeist Yasuhiro Suzuki, 32, with the eight-year ban, the Japan Canoe Federation announced Tuesday, slamming his offence as “extremely evil”.

According to the federation, Suzuki confessed to putting a banned muscle-boosting substance into the drink bottle of rival Seiji Komatsu, 25, during a domestic competition in September.“Suzuki’s conduct is totally contrary to the spirit of sporting fair play,” the Japan Canoe Federation said in a statement.

The canoe body said it will consider expelling Suzuki permanently as he has a history of sabotaging competitors, including by stealing their equipment.Suzuki admitted spiking the drink after receiving an intensive anti-doping lecture during a training camp, according to the federation.“I was fretting. I did it as I thought he would overwhelm me. I didn’t expect he’d actually test positive,” public broadcaster NHK quoted Suzuki as telling the federation.

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