6th March 2020
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the appeal arbitration procedure between the Japanese swimmer Hiromasa Fujimori and the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA). The appeal has been dismissed.
On 14 December 2018, Hiromasa Fujimori provided an in-competition sample during the FINA World Championships in Hangzhou, China. The analysis of the sample revealed the presence of Methylephedrine, a stimulant included on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List. Following an investigation, on 27 August 2019, the FINA Doping Panel issued its decision finding that Hiromasa Fujimori had committed an anti-doping rule violation pursuant to Article 2.1 of the FINA Doping Control Rules and imposed a two-year period of ineligibility on him, commencing on 1 January 2019 (the Challenged Decision).
In his appeal to the CAS, Hiromasa Fujimori requested that the sanction be reduced to a reprimand or a period of ineligibility of between 3 and 6 months, or a maximum of 12 months commencing on 14 December 2018, arguing that the positive result stemmed from the ingestion of potentially contaminated rice balls the day before the test.
The CAS arbitrator in charge of this matter concluded that Hiromasa Fujimori had failed to establish a plausible source to the presence of the prohibited substance in his sample and, accordingly, could not benefit from any reduction in the sanction imposed in the Challenged Decision. Consequently, the Sole Arbitrator dismissed the appeal and confirmed the Challenged Decision.