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Medley swimmer Hiromasa Fujimori suspended after failing drug test

Kyodo, AFP-JIJI

Hiromasa Fujimori, who placed fourth in the men’s 200-meter individual medley at the Rio Olympics, has tested positive for a prohibited substance, a source familiar with the matter said Friday.

According to the source, the athlete’s “A” sample came back positive at the Short Course World Championships held in China in December, and the 27-year-old’s second sample confirmed the result.

The Japan Swimming Federation has temporarily suspended Fujimori.

Fujimori, a former Asian Games silver medalist, will now miss next month’s national championships, which serve as qualifiers for the world championships in South Korea this summer.

A formal hearing by swimming’s governing body FINA will determine the length of ban Fujimori will receive, after both his “A” and “B” samples tested positive.

He becomes the second high-profile Japanese swimmer to fail a doping test in the past year after former backstroke world champion Junya Koga.

Koga, who won a world title in 2009, appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport last November over his four-year ban after traces of illegal muscle-building substances were found in his system, claiming he took the substances unknowingly as part of a diet of supplements.

Fujimori has also protested his innocence.

“I did not purposely take the banned substances detected in my urine sample,” he said in a statement released by the JSF.

“Frankly speaking I am shocked at these test results. I don’t take medicine or supplements.”

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