World Championships medalist Junya Koga of Japan has been handed a 4-year ban for having tested positive for a prohibited substance, Japanese media source Asahi reports. According to the news source, swimming’s governing body FINA has imposed the 4-year ban.
As we reported back in May on the eve of the 2018 Japan Open, the 31-year-old backstroke ace reportedly failed two drug tests in the month of March, 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”.
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.