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Athletics: Marathoner Yoshida to get longer ban

Kyodo

The Japan Sports Arbitration Agency on Tuesday announced it had accepted a plea by the Japan Anti-Doping Agency to have Japanese marathoner Kaori Yoshida’s suspension increased from one year to two.

Yoshida tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug erythropoietin (EPO) after finishing fourth at last December’s Honolulu Marathon. Yoshida claimed she had received medication from a doctor in November to treat anemia and it was unknown to her the prescription contained EPO.

The offense would normally merit a two-year suspension, but the body that handles disciplinary measures, the Japan Doping Prevention and Discipline Panel, in May decided on one year due to the circumstances of Yoshida’ first drug offense.

JADA, however, disagreed with that decision, saying two years were warranted because the athlete failed to pay sufficient attention.

“The Discipline Panel is completely independent of JADA,” a JADA spokesperson explained. “There are times, such as this, when we state our disagreement.”