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Speed skater Saito banned for doping

The Associated Press PYEONGCHANG (AP) — Short-track speed skater Kei Saito has tested positive for a banned diuretic in the first doping case of the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Saito, a reserve on the 5,000-meter relay team, tested positive for acetalozamide, which can be used to treat conditions such as glaucoma and altitude sickness but can also be a masking agent to disguise the use of other banned substances.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport announced the case Tuesday, saying Saito “accepted on a voluntary basis to be provisionally suspended and to leave the Olympic Village.” Saito did not race in any event before the test result from a pre-competition sample was confirmed. CAS said its judging panel handling Olympic doping cases will issue a final verdict after the games are over.

The Japanese Olympic Committee said Saito was tested after training on Feb. 4, just before he went to bed in the athletes village. In a statement, Saito denied intentionally doping and said he was “extremely shocked” by the results.

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