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Japanese kayaker referred to prosecutors over drink-spiking scandal

Yasuhiro Suzuki (Mainichi)

KANAZAWA, Japan (Kyodo) -- A Japanese kayaker was referred to prosecutors on Friday on suspicion of fraudulent obstruction of business for spiking a younger rival's drink with a banned substance, causing him to fail a doping test.

    Yasuhiro Suzuki, 32, has admitted to the allegation, saying he wanted to be selected for the national team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games by framing Seiji Komatsu, his 26-year-old former national teammate, according to local police.

    Suzuki is suspected of lacing Komatsu's drink with steroid methandienone and hiding his paddle during the Japanese sprint canoe championship last September in Ishikawa Prefecture, in an attempt to disrupt his rival's sports career.

    Komatsu failed a doping test and the Japan Anti-Doping Agency banned him from competition until Suzuki confessed his cheating to the Japan Canoe Federation last November.

    The scandal was revealed in January and police said it took them six months to send the case to prosecutors because careful investigation was needed as the case was "unprecedented."

    The canoe federation expelled Suzuki in June.

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