Japan canoe sprinter banned for 8 years over doping

TOKYO — A top Japanese canoe sprinter has been banned for eight years, disqualifying him from the Tokyo Olympics, for lacing his rival's drink with a prohibited drug which caused him to fail a doping test.

The Japan Anti-Doping Agency said Tuesday that Yasuhiro Suzuki was banned for putting an anabolic steroid into the drink bottle of his rival at a national championship in September.

Seiji Komatsu, unaware of the content, took the drink and was disqualified after testing positive to the drug.

The Japan Canoe Federation said Komatsu's suspension and records that had been stripped have been restored. Canoeing officials apologized over the incident ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The two had been considered among the top candidates to represent Japan in the Tokyo Games.

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