In the latest development regarding Japanese swimmer Junya Koga‘s positive doping test dating back to last year, the 31-year-old has now seen his suspension reduced.
Koga reportedly failed two drug tests in the month of March 2018, which resulted in his being removed from the Japanese National Team. Koga tested positive for traces of ‘banned muscle-building substances’, which the Olympian denied having taken knowingly. The substances were later identified as selective androgen receptor modulators “LGD-4033” and “SARM S-22”.
After being handed a 4-year ban by FINA for having tested positive for a prohibited substance, World Championships medalist Koga appealed to the Court Arbitration of Sport (CAS).
Japanese media reports today that his ban has been reduced to 2 years, with Koga being able to return to competition on May 14, 2020. That would be after the Japanse Olympic Trials that are set for early April, however, most likely rendering the Rio Olympian out of a home nation-hosted Games.
At the time of the positive test announcement, Koga told the press, “I feel ashamed, miserable and frustrated. I couldn’t believe it — 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 sorry.” (Japan Times)
Koga earned the 50m back silver medal last year in Budapest at the 2017 World Championships. He also earned 50m backstroke gold at the 2016 Short Course World Championships in Windsor, as well as represented Japan at the 2016 Olympics as part of the men’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay.
Translation assistance provided by Rebecca Nishikawa- Roy.