Published: Fri, February 16, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Kristin Zimmerman

Japanese speed skater tested positive for doping at Pyeongchang Olympics

Japanese speed skater tested positive for doping at Pyeongchang Olympics

Japanese short-track speed skater Kei Saito has become the first athlete to be exiled from the Winter Olympics for a doping violation.

A statement released by The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Tuesday said that the speedskater had "accepted on a voluntary basis to be provisionally suspended and to leave the Olympic Village".

The 21-year-old first time Olympian is a biology student at Kanagawa University.

"His sister Hitomi has competed in short track and was part of the Japan team that finished eighth in the 3000m relay at the 2014 World Championships in Montreal, QC, Canada", the site said.

"At this point, all we know is that the sample A and sample B tested positive".

Saito will also be barred from any global Skating Union competitions pending further investigation.

Saito said he was shocked by the test results, insisting he had never taken a steroid and there was no need for him to use a masking agent.

Saito denied intentionally doping to CAS, which heard the athlete on Monday.

"I've never once considered doping".

The case will no doubt embarrass Japan, organisers of the Summer Games in 2020, and again forces the drug issue to the fore after Russian Federation were formally banned for state-sponsored doping.

A masking agent is a diuretic that serves to hide the presence of other banned substances and also helps athletes to lose weight quickly, The Guardian reported. "I have no merit and motivation for using this drug".

"Both samples tested positive", said the head of the Japanese Olympic delegation Yasuo Saito, who is also the vice-president of the Japan Olympic Committee.

"The revelation will be a major embarrassment to Japanese sports, which has long prided itself on its clean image and will be hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo", Rogers wrote.

He was expected to compete in the relay's second heat Wednesday, but the International Olympic Committee, which tests athletes, found the drugs before he participated in any events.

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