Japanese Olympian Junya Koga Tests Positive For Banned Substance

Japanese Olympian and 2017 World Championships silver medalist Junya Koga has reportedly failed two drug tests in the month of March and subsequently removed from the Japanese national team. According to according to Agence France-Presse, Koga tested positive for traces of ‘banned muscle-building substances’, which the backstroking ace denied taking knowingly.

“I feel ashamed, miserable and frustrated,” Koga, 30, told the press today. “I couldn’t believe it — I was in shock, I thought it was some mistake.

“I didn’t know if it was real, or a dream. I never took the substance detected intentionally. But I’m responsible for proving that. To those who support me, I’m deeply sorry.”

The Japanese Swimming Federation’s documentation indicates Koga tested positive for traces of androgen receptor modulators LGD-4033 and SARM S-22 in an out-of-competition test in Tokyo. He now faces a possible 4-year ban which, with Koga already at 30 years of age, would rule him out of Tokyo 2020 and well beyond.

Koga has asked WADA to conduct a hearing to allow him to explain the circumstances surrounding his case, however, he is off the 2018 Asian Games roster to which he was just recently named. Additionally, the news comes on day 1 of the 2018 Japan Open, the 2nd national meet at which swimmers can qualify for the Pan Pacific Championships squad.

The former Club Wolverine Elite athlete’s positive test checks-in as at least the 2nd Japanese swimming-related positive so far this year. In January it was announced that a Japanese swimmer competing at an intercollegiate competition in Osaka Prefecture back in September tested positive for a banned substance. The swimmer involved has participated in national freestyle sprints at the high school level, but has not represented the nation at any senior international competitions.

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Bon Jovi

cmon man


Lol cmon dude. You were a fading former star who wanted to feel the glory again.


I mean he wasn’t fading too hard… Silver medal last year!


Thus letting him feel the glory again. So, it worked.


And a bunch of medals at the short course worlds in 2016.

Steve Nolan

Or just like, make a living.

What incentive does he have to NOT dope? He doesn’t, maybe he doesn’t even make the Japanese team. He does, maybe he wins a medal at a major meet. Obviously the inverse of those situations aren’t impossible, but which ones are more likely?

I can’t fault these guys. I’ve never been in the same situation as them, but I find it hard to suggest most people wouldn’t do the same thing.


So go ahead and dope or cheat ??!! Are you kidding me?? That train of thought leaves me speechless!!

Steve Nolan

Yeah, and it could leave him homeless if he didn’t.

(Is that exaggerated? Yes. But it’s not that crazy an example.)


Well I guess he might have to get a job like the 99.9% of other swimmers that can’t make a living swimming. That he is slowing down as he ages and he can’t compete at the level he once did is no excuse for cheating. After all father time is undefeated.

Inspired By

I first met Junya Koga in the locker rooms during a meet at UGA, about 3-4 years ago when I was 18. The meet was one of Phelps first comeback meets after his DUI, and besides him there were a good 20 more olympians competing. In short, Junya was one of the nicest and most thoughtful people I had the opportunity to talk to at that meet, and left one of the greastest impressions, enough to convince me to comment. Obviously, I don’t have a substantial amount of interactions to pull from here, but this news seems very out of character for the person I met. I hope there is some other explanation, but if not he has made a… Read more »

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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