World C’ships Bronze Medalist Hiromasa Fujimori Fails Doping Test

In another blow to the host nation of the 2020 Olympic Games, 27-year-old Hiromasa Fujimori of Japan has tested positive for a prohibited substance. (Manichi)

Per a statement by the Japanese Swimming Federation, Fujimori tested positive for methylephedrine as a banned substance in urine during the 2018 Short Course World Championships. A testing of his B sample rendered the same results. (YomiuriShimbun)

Fujimori said, “The banned substance was not intentionally consumed because I did not usually take supplements or drugs. I have always been proud of as an athlete, and I have always been careful about the substances I take.

“I am very surprised and shocked.”

It’s almost a certainty that Fujimori will be out of the all-important Japanese Championships that take place next month. As the primary qualifying meet for this summer’s World Championships, we would then not see Fujimori in Gwangju.

Fujimori finished in 4th place in the 200m IM at the Rio Olympics, behind winner Michael Phelps, runner-up Kosuke Hagino of his native Japan, and bronze medalist Wang Shun of China.

In Hangzhou, Fujimori took bronze in the SCM 200m IM, finishing in a a time of 1:52.73 to shut Aussie Mitch Larkin out of the medals by just .05 seconds. If this positive doping result holds, Fujimori would be stripped of this result, leaving Larkin with the bronze.

Japan is already dealing with another doping scandal in the form of Junya Koga, the backstroking ace who is facing a possible 4-year ban.

In May of last year, as we reported, 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.

Koga is appealing his case to the Court Arbitration of Sport (CAS).

We have seen two recent cases of ‘false positives’ to the tune of American Madiyson Cox and Dutch racer Kira Toussaint. In Cox’s case, her positive test was found to have been traced back to her multi-vitamins, a substance she had documented on every doping control form she had ever completed.

For Toussaint, the Olympian had tested positive for Tulobuterol with a reading of 0.000000001 grams found. After re-testing of the samples at the same Beijing laboratory, the earlier results of tulobuterol in those samples were found incorrect and FINA withdrew its case.

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bear drinks beer

This is at least the third doping case from Japan swimming in the past two years. There was also a college student swimmer who was tested positive last January. I don’t know what’s going on with them. Japan used to have a very clean history and a good reputation for clean sports.


Tokyo Olympics?


Get those cheaters out of the sport


Did a quick google to figure out what this substance does, and found that it is one of the main substances of interest when testing chess players (Chess WADA). Anyway, this story isn’t too surprising. The chance to represent at a home Olympics is a huge motivator, and that motivation is going to push some people to pursue some less-than-legit avenues of improvement. Particularly with the current medal outlook (Phelps retired, Lochte serving a ban, Hagino unmotivated)– it’s wide open after Kalisz right now*. It’d be hard not to take advantage of the opportunity to medal in front of a home crowd. *with the obvious caveat that a lot can happen in the next 14 months or so. If… 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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