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Japanese speedskater suspended after failing doping test

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Another bubble bursting.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

If proven, this is extremely regrettable and may well have Saito banned for life by the JOC (on top of a possible 4 year ban by the IOC). In the media it will take some of the gloss off the 3 Japanese medallists from last night.

I thought the Japanese were pure

To be fair, they have been a very clean nation overall, with only a few instances of dopers (being caught at least).

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The people of this country need to wake-the-**** up and smell the coffee!

There is so much to love about Japan, yet the image that people have that athletes are people immune from the pressures of wanting to win at any cost, is BS. Just like in everyday life here "fraud" is perpetrated upon the people, more often than they want to accept or believe.

Getting caught, especially on the international stage, is going to be fodder for the talking heads on the "wide-shows" for months to come!

I just hope his sister is able to put it aside and do what she needs to do to compete, but I'll bet the media won't let her!

5 ( +11 / -6 )

He failed an "out of competition" test. Which is a test given at another competition before the Olympics itself. A bit more needs to be investigated before the guy is severely punished and you well know that the S. Korean's would like nothing more than to find a Japanese competitor guilty. I'll bet a lot of Japanese are thinking this kid is being used as a scapegoat. I'm just saying what a lot of you are thinking.

-17 ( +6 / -23 )

@SaikpPsycho!

So you're saying he is innocent because SK would love for a JP competitor look guilty? Hmmm, remember the Japanese swimmer who stole a camera from a South Korean? Nobody believed it until we saw the footage.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

for your reference, here's the official list of banned substances:

https://www.wada-ama.org/sites/default/files/prohibited_list_2018_en.pdf

but why are you all presuming he's guilty before he's had a chance to defend himself? some items on the list occur naturally in food, and often times athletes take supplements without fully knowing all the ingredients. so some athletes are caught doping even though they had no intention of doing it. this the the negative the anti-doping protocols of WADA.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Ban the fool and whoever enabled this cheating. Don't give the doping Russians any excuses to whinge any more

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Instead of endless meaningless apologies with multiple bows and gomens, this cheat should be banned for life!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@SaikoPhysco An "out of competition" test is one where the anti-doping boys show up outsid@SaikoPhysco an "out of competition" test is where a tester for the Doping agency - usually a nurse or lab tech - shows up on your doorstep / place of work / friends wedding ( virtually anywhere anytime ) and makes a demand for a blood &/or urine sample... There are famous stories of this from many elite level athletes around the world who wake up to a knock at their door at 3:00 am or on arriving home from a training run etc...

This is designed to catch "cheaters" who train under the influence of banned substances and are then clean during competition - hence - "out of competition" test - it is not from a test taken during another event...

All this said - we are not yet aware of the substance that was found in his samples - it could be something REALLY serious like anabolic steroids / HGH etc.., or it could be something innocuous like a cough medicine that contains a banned substance like codeine etc.,

Let's wait and see, shall we, before we condemn the Japanese Sporting establishment as a bunch of cheaters & dopers...

Although ANY doping is wrong, let's not forget that this is a "reserve" athlete - in no way a mitigating factor - with a somewhat famous sister to live up to... As a reserve, he may have more of a reason to seek an advantage or he may have been caught with some "party favors" in his system - anything is possible...

10 ( +11 / -1 )

SaikoPhysco: "A bit more needs to be investigated before the guy is severely punished and you well know that the S. Korean's would like nothing more than to find a Japanese competitor guilty."

How did I know there would already be people jumping up to defend the false image of Japan as pristine, and even blame it on South Korea despite it being an "out of competition" test he was caught in? You guys will bend over backwards in an Olympic pretzel to avoid the facts: Japan is not as clean as you think. No country is that clean.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Too bad he chose to cheat. The pressures must be enormous but still, what's he going to say when he gets home?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

How did I know there would already be people jumping up to defend the false image of Japan as pristine, and even blame it on South Korea despite it being an "out of competition" test he was caught in? You guys will bend over backwards in an Olympic pretzel to avoid the facts: Japan is not as clean as you think. No country is that clean.

Smithie, all Saiko is asking is that we don't jump to conclusions and crucify the Japanese skater, because for all we know he was set up by South Korea.

/irony

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

@SaikoPhysco

Doping samples do not have names on them, just the control number.

There is no way of knowing whose sample it is.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

As others say, you don't need to be Russian and Chinese to be a doper. Give him due process, but he gets no sympathy if guilty. My overall impression is that minor sports do pretty well in Japan compared to other countries, so he may well have had other (legal) advantages over other competitors even before any doping.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

How did I know there would already be people jumping up to defend the false image of Japan as pristine, and even blame it on South Korea despite it being an "out of competition" test he was caught in? You guys will bend over backwards in an Olympic pretzel to avoid the facts: Japan is not as clean as you think. No country is that clean.

smithinjapan - leaving aside the murky business of sumo wrestling, to be fair to Japan, it has had a very good record up to now in playing clean in international sports. Wikipedia do a page on doping scandals for some countries, and only four turn up for Japan, compared with multiple pages of names for USA.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I just found it quite coincidental that a Japanese skater was the 1st person found cheating. I wonder if they were reviewing countries by Alphabetical order?

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

I just found it quite coincidental that a Japanese skater was the 1st person found cheating. I wonder if they were reviewing countries by Alphabetical order?

Perhaps Japan should have been more careful in making sure dopers aren't representing her in the Olympics. I don't see a need in defending these athletes. Doing so only hurts the offending side's integrity.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

He said that he is puzzled as well, for although he took (prescribed) medication, it was always in consultation with “experts” and that he was careful with what he ate. Apparently he tested positive for acetazolamide, which is, as I have read, used as a diuretic to lose water/weight and abused as a masking agent for other banned substances. For his sake, I hope he has a clean conscience, but healthy youngsters don’t really need diuretics. It’s the same for all these athletes needing medicines to treat asthma.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

To be ohnest I hate when people say "everyone is doing it but they are not caught" !

It's kinda of diminishing the effort to make sports clean of drugs.

For this case nothing is official yet and people are jumping for life ban! Go figure...

And usually the lab is international at such big event so the Korean link is also highly unlikely!

Let's wait and see - we really don't know much reading this gossip-style news.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Don't forget, doping isn't just about one person cheating, it's also become a way to make sure a rival is out of the running by spiking food/drinks. Who knows yet if he really did it himself.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Do the crime do the time

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Why would you even take that stuff if you knew you were gonna be tested?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I just found it quite coincidental that a Japanese skater was the 1st person found cheating. I wonder if they were reviewing countries by Alphabetical order?

Er, the letter 'J' is not near the beginning of the alphabet.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

How do we know the dastardly South Koreans/North Koreans/Chinese/Russians didn't spike his drinks or sample? I hope PM ABE will raise this possibility at the earliest possible opportunity.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Didn't steal a camera, can't get that mad.

There's a lot of doping in sports, even in Japan, and it isn't helpful to just assume its some conspiracy. They're human too for God's sake.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

SaikoPshyco: "I just found it quite coincidental that a Japanese skater was the 1st person found cheating."

No, what you did was took a coincidence and made it into a rant in which YOU show bias instead of seeing it for what it is; a coincidence. Sorry if you don't like it, but perhaps instead of taking it out on Koreans, like you always do, you might want to take a look at the person ACTUALLY responsible; the guy who doped.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This guy is a fool if he thinks he's going to get away with taking banned stuff, but I believe that he's innocent, and its a mistake, BUT, if this guy was taking medicine, he should have told his coach, the team doctor, ( if they have one) just to make sure its ok to take. if the team doctor says its ok to use, well the mistake is down to the doctor, not the athlete. unfortunately it wrecked he's career for some time to come.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"When I was tested on Jan. 29 during training camp, the results did not turn out any banned substances. The only way this substance could have entered my system is that I took it unknowingly and happened by accident."

Yeah...right!

Stick to that defence mate. Might work for ya.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Three medals and a doping ban, quite the haul so far.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I work in the sports marketing business. One of the reasons why very few japanese athletes get caught is because..they don't take doping. Another one is, because there is very little testing in japan, relatively speaking compared to other countries and athletes are warned about " surprise " testing.  They are not in most other countries. 

But cheating is very common by Japanese federations. So is the recent 9'98 sec on the 100mtrs a total joke, there was +4 mtrs wind on that day. That athlete can, and wish respects he is a good athlete, not run 10'10 even in normal conditions. His previous best was also run in the same stadium under simular conditions.  And so strange he ran a very mediocre world championships in august and in a very lowly ranked meeting with no opposition suddenly " flies ".

About the disappointing results at the Olympics, they are not to be called disappointing as to be expected. Japanese athletes are not stress resistant and the amount of pressure piled on them must be the highest in any country. Extreme bad coaching is another cause. Those that perform, have foreign coaches.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

He took the drug, all responsibility is his. Why are the old men apologizing, they can't watch the athletes 24hrs a day. ? Get the dufus that cheated to bow instead.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

if he was clean on the 29th and not the 4th, he should know what it took between in even if it was by accident.

Of course it can always happen a cook put a diuretic in the Food but as he was controlled the day he arrived I hardly suspect a local guy did it

If he came directly from Japan it only could have happen there or in the plane

But as this product is a masking agent, there is not much doubt for me he did it

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I was drunk and have no knowledge/memory/ explanation regarding this mishap.

i will endevour to better explai.....

yawn.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Often times athletes take supplements without fully knowing all the ingredients

Not much of an excuse. Supplements are exceptionally poorly regulated - frequently they are not what they say they are. Oversight and testing is minimal, but when analysis is actually carried out, often shows issues with manufacturing and content. The word supplements itself is a catch-all for just about any substance marketed in a pill/medicine bottle that isn't legally classified (and thereby controlled) as a pharmaceutical.

Athletes who take them are completely laying themselves open to testing positive for banned substances. Their obligation, if they intend to compete under the rules, is not to buy and consume blind. Can't have it both ways: testing positive brings severe consequences.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

all elite athletes, team management and support staff know the score.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Yer honor, am not as think as you drunk I am" comes to mind

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A jealous rival at last found a way. When things of great importance are at risk - great care must be taken.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just because he is Japanese we have commenters here trying to deny the fact that he took banned substances to gain an advantage on other athletes... accept the fact! He should be banned because the it's only fair to other clean athletes. There is no need to blame the Koreans for this. Japanese people always blame others without accepting their own failures. Furthermore, the Japanese team chief and his deputy do not need to bow deeply and apologize for this cheater ( he should do it himself )!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Too bad he chose to cheat. The pressures must be enormous but still, what's he going to say when he gets home?

"I was drunk and I don't remember."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Was talking to an old fogie about the Olympics today (started with Hanyu, of course) and he was talking about how great this Olympics have been so far (because of Hanyu, of course), and how there had been no doping scandals, etc. I pointed out there had, and mentioned Saito. He said it was a lie and Japanese testers had found him negative of any substances and Saito and his coach denied it. I said so does everyone who's caught, and the part about Japanese testing is a lie since it is fact the enhancer was found in his system. I pointed out, though, that even though it was the first doping case of this Olympics Japan has a clean record with only two other instances of doping in Olympics, which he said were also not true until I was a little more specific.

End result: No more talk about the Olympics... or talk at all from him. It was pretty obvious he didn't care about the facts, though. I

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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