2017 World Championships silver medalist Junya Koga of Japan is facing a possible 4-year ban for having tested positively for a prohibited substance earlier this year.
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.
Sources told Kyodo News yesterday, September 17th, that Koga is set to be issued a 4-year by FINA for the violation, a punishment which would render the former Club Wolverine Elite athlete out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, a home-based Games. Koga sought a reduction in his sanction at a hearing before an impartial panel in late August, reports Kyodo, however, his request was rejected. He still could appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
In addition to his 2017 World Championships medal, Koga earned 50m backstroke gold at the 2016 Short Course World Championships in Windsor. He was a 2016 Olympian as a member of Japan’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay.