Top Japan canoeist banned for ‘evil’ drink spiking
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.
Komatsu won the race but was later provisionally suspended after he tested positive to the drug, which he strenuously denied using. His suspension has now been lifted.
Both Suzuki and Komatsu were among the top candidates to represent Japan at the forthcoming 2020 Olympics.