A Japanese speed skater is the first Olympian to fail a doping test during the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, according to a report Tuesday.
Kei Saito, 21, a short track speed skater, is suspended from the Olympics due to using a suspended substance, reported the New York Post. A doping test showed that Saito tested positive for acetazolamide, a diuretic that can hide the use of performance-enhancing drugs. The young athlete agreed to his suspension and to leave the Olympic village, however, he denied using any performance-enhancing drugs.
“I have never considered doping. I have never used anabolic steroids so I have never needed to try to hide it,” Saito said in a statement. “I do not want to be a disturbance to my teammates competing at the Olympic Games … and will leave the team and the athlete’s village voluntarily,” he added.
“We will do everything in our power to help him. We will give him every help he needs,” said Hidehito Ito, the deputy chef de mission of the Japanese Olympic Committee, reported The Guardian.
The skater was originally expected to compete in a competition Wednesday before testing positive for the acetazolamide.
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