Chances are when you first glimpsed at the headline of this article you did a double take. First, kayaking isn’t a sport that we tend to cover and secondly, this story is a bit outstanding.
According to ESPN, Japanese kayaker Yasuhiro Suzuki has been handed an eight-year ban after spiking rival Seiji Komatsu’s drink so he would fail a drug test.
If it sounds like the plot of a Hollywood feature film, that’s because the story is that crazy, that unbelievable.
But it’s true.
An investigation commenced when Komatsu failed a doping test, resulting in his disqualification from the 2017 Canoe Sprint Japan Championships. He ultimately denied taking drugs.
Suzuki, 32, admitted to spiking the drink, telling federation officials “he was frustrated and did not think he could win”, per Japanese public broadcaster NHK.
ESPN went on to say that in light of this new development, the Japan Canoe Federation has confirmed it has overturned the sanctions it handed down to Komatsu.
Need some more drama to this story? Want more interest for the sport of kayaking?
Both Suzuki and Komatsu had been expected to compete for a place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Sounds more like a build up to a match at ‘WrestleMania’ than anything else.