• Kyodo News


The J. League imposed a six-match ban on Kawasaki Frontale striker Kazuki Ganaha on Tuesday for violating the league’s anti-doping code by taking an intravenous injection.

The J. League also fined Kawasaki 10 million yen after the revelation last month that the doctor of the first-division club injected nutritional supplement to Ganaha after a training session on April 23. The league’s ruling includes the four official matches Ganaha has missed since his doping problem surfaced and the 26-year-old Japan international will be ineligible to play through Sunday’s league game at Ventforet Kofu.

“It was the first violation (of our anti-doping rules), but we took it very seriously because we have repeatedly asked the J. League clubs to heed attention (to our anti-doping stance),” J. League Chairman Kenji Onitake said. Ganaha did not take a banned substance but intravenous infusions of any kind are banned by both soccer’s world governing body FIFA and the J. League, which changed its rules before the current season to comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency regulations.

Ganaha is the first player who took doping-related punishment by the J. League since its inauguration in 1993.

“We took the league’s ruling seriously and we’ll take steps in order to avoid repeating such a mistake by improving communication among our players and team doctor,” Kawasaki President Shimpei Takeda said.

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