The 21 year old Japanese speed skater Kei Saito is the first athlete to be excluded form the 2018 Winter Olympics
(SOURCE: BBC, 2018)
Saito has failed a drugs test which was carried out prior to the Winter Games, however he left voluntarily although pleading his innocence. According to BBC 2018, he tested positive for acetazolamide, which can be used as a masking agent, suggesting he is trying to cover up something more sinister.
Acetazolamide can be used to treat epilepsy, altitude sickness and glaucoma just to name a few. With this in mind, it could suggest that Saito was using this for a genuine use that just so happens to act as a masking agent much to his disbelief.
During an interview Saito claimed “I have been trained in anti-doping. I have never taken a steroid so there is no need for me to mask something”. Could this be a fault of the coach? Or could Saito be in denial?