Junya Koga, a Rio Olympic relay swimmer and 2009 World champion in the 100m backstroke, failed two March drug tests for banned “muscle-building” substances and has been kicked off the Japan national team, according to Japanese media.
“I feel ashamed, miserable and frustrated,” Koga said in a Wednesday news conference, according to Agence France-Presse. “I couldn’t believe it — I thought it was some mistake.”
The 30-year-old said the substances could have come from a supplement. He appealed to the World Anti-Doping Agency, according to AFP.
“I never took the substance detected intentionally,” Koga said, according to the report. “But I’m responsible for proving that. To those who support me, I’m deeply sorry.”
Koga was a surprise gold medalist in 2009 at the famous super-suit world championships with 43 world records (though Koga merely lowered the meet record in the semifinals and final). Aaron Peirsol, who had won three straight world titles and two straight Olympic titles in the 100m back, was eliminated in the semifinals.
Koga made one Olympic team, as part of Japan’s 4x100m freestyle relay that placed eighth in Rio. Last year, he took world championships silver in the 50m backstroke, which is not an Olympic event.
OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!Follow @nzaccardi