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Anti-doping body to be established in Japan ahead of 2020 Olympics

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A sports-related organization will be formed in Japan to strengthen the country's position on anti-doping measures ahead of the 2020 Olympics, several sources said Tuesday.

According to sources, the body will be independent from both government and existing sports bodies. It is scheduled to be launched in fiscal 2019, and will come up with policies such as doping testing procedures.

The new organization is being formed in an effort to raise the country's anti-doping measures to match the level requested by the World Anti-Doping Agency or WADA. Officials also see it as a way to raise Japan's profile as a country where doping is not tolerated, now that several Japanese athletes have failed drug tests.

WADA had asked Japan, as 2020 Olympics host, to focus on conducting doping tests in sports with a high risk of doping issues or those whose competition levels have been rapidly improving.

Until now Japanese sports federations and tournament organizers' testing practices have been constrained by their budgets, and the amount of testing has sometimes been insufficient.

The new organization will establish a council to lay down the extent and number of tests required for each sport. It will also secure funding needed for testing and request that the Japan Anti-Doping Agency conduct the tests.

Recently, Rio Olympic relay swimmer and 2009 world champion Junya Koga received a four-year ban by a FINA doping panel for violating anti-doping rules. He has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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