Japanese swimmer banned from Tokyo Olympics in doping case

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Japanese swimmer Hiromasa Fujimori lost his appeal yesterday against a two-year doping ban and will miss the Tokyo Olympics.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said Fujimori “failed to establish a plausible source” for the stimulant in a sample taken at the short-course world championships in December 2018.

Fujimori was disqualified from a bronze-medal place in the 100-metre medley, but retained the 200 medley bronze won three days earlier when his doping control tested negative.

The 28-year-old Fujimori — who finished fourth at the 2016 Olympics in the 200-metre medley, won by Michael Phelps — has been banned through December 31, 2020.

The two-year ban could have been cut had he been able to prove why the substance was present.

Fujimori’s defence at CAS was to cite “potentially contaminated rice balls” he ate the day before, the court said.

At an earlier doping tribunal, held by swimming governing body FINA, Fujimori declined to blame a supplement or cold medication which could have resulted in a six-month ban.

“Mr Fujimori has maintained his integrity, a clear conscience and demonstrated himself to be an individual of high character and ethical standards,” the FINA panel said.

File photo shows United States’ Michael Phelps and Japan’s Hiromasa Fujimori competing during the 2016 Summer Olympics. PHOTO: AP