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.