Winter Olympics: Japanese skater suspended in 1st failed doping case

"As a outcome, the athlete is provisionally suspended from competing at the OWG (Olympic Winter Games) Pyeongchang 2018 and at any future ISU (International Skating Union) competition pending the resolution of this matter".

"The athlete accepted on a voluntary basis to be provisionally suspended and to leave the Olympic village", CAS said.

Saito, 21, a reserve on the Japanese men's 5,000-meter relay team, failed an out-of-competition test in the lead-up to the games, the sources said.

Saito tested positive for acetalozamide, a banned drug that is often used to combat altitude sickness, but it is also considered a masking agent for other enhancing substances. "I have never used anabolic steroids so I have never needed to try to hide it", he said.

Doping - the use of drugs, hormones and other substances to gain a competitive advantage - has shadowed worldwide sports for decades.

"I do understand athletes should not do any doping and even unintentionally. There's no merit or motive for me in using this medicine". "So it is beyond my comprehension how his samples can test positive", Tsotomu Kawasaki said at a news conference. Saito has been tested positive for doping and he vows to prove his innocence.

"The findings are beyond me, and I plan to fight to prove my innocence", he said.

"The revelation will be a major embarrassment to Japanese sports, which has long prided itself on its clean image and will be hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo", Rogers wrote.

The incident comes as anti-doping authorities seek to ramp up testing for the Pyeongchang Games following the 2014 doping scheme that emerged at the last Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

"Both samples tested positive", said the head of the delegation, who is also the vice-president of the Japan Olympic Committee.

He was expected to compete in the relay's second heat Wednesday, but the International Olympic Committee, which tests athletes, found the drugs before he participated in any events.


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