Once-Banned Takeharu Fujimori Set For Racing Return At Tokyo Tourney

2020 TOKYO SPECIAL SWIMMING TOURNAMENT

  • Saturday, August 29th & Sunday, August 30th
  • Tatsumi International Swimming Centre
  • LCM (50m)
  • Timed Finals
  • Entries (in Japanese)

In addition to Rikako Ikee‘s inspiring return to racing, as well as once-banned backstroke Junya Koga‘s first competitive race in over two and a half years, the 2020 Tokyo Special Swimming Tournament will also see Takeharu Fujimori dive in post-suspension.

The Japanese Anti-Doping Authority (JADA) revealed last November that it handed a 4-month suspension to then-25-year-old Fujimori for having shown a positive reaction to banned substance ‘Osterin’ at an in-competition test conducted at a domestic meet held in May of 2019.

Per the USADA, Ostarine is the trademarked name for a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM) that is not approved for human use or consumption in the U.S., or in any other country. In recent years, WADA has reported an increasing number of positive tests involving SARMs, and athletes who use these substances most likely obtain them through black market channels. (USADA)

We reported how Takeharu reportedly argued he used supplements given to him by a Japanese Swimming Federation trainer before the competition to help widen blood vessels and improve blood flow, but the supplements were tainted with the banned substance. (NHK)

The swimmer was originally suspended for 5 months, but after an investigation by the arbitration agency that received the petition from Takeharu, the suspension was reduced to 4 months. The suspension’s start date was July 26th of 2019, which meant he would have been able to compete at Japan’s Olympic Trials slated for April of this year before the coronavirus pandemic resulted in the meet’s, and ultimately this year’s Olympic Games’, postponement.

At the Japan Swim in April of 2019, Fujimori finished 4th in the 200m IM (1:59.36) and 3rd in the 400m IM (4:13.90). He did finish with the 400m IM bronze (4:17.88) at the Japan Open in May, which may have been the meet at which he tested positive.

Fujimori is entered in the men’s 50m free and 200m IM for the Tokyo meet.

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About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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