Four-time world champion Daiya Seto was removed as Japan’s captain for the Tokyo Olympics after admitting she was having an affair.
The Japanese swimming federation found that his actions violated their “sporting standards of conduct” and banned him for a year.
The association issued the suspension after an extraordinary meeting late Tuesday.
But it’s retroactive and he’ll be eligible for the Olympics next year.
Kayo is your ticket to the best sports streaming live & on demand. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial and start streaming right away>Seto, the reigning world champion in the men’s 200- and 400-meter medley, stepped down as captain after admitting the extramarital affair.
He is married to swimming colleague Yuka Mabuchi and they have two daughters together.
About the ban, Seto, who won a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, said: “How can I apologize? I was wondering if I can.
“But I think I apologize for continuing to swim and rebuilding the trust of my family, who have been deeply hurt by my irresponsible behavior.
“I really want to face swimming and be determined to start over so my family and everyone will recognize me as a swimmer again.”
“I’m really sorry,” he added.
The affair came to light after a magazine in Japan published a story about meeting a woman in a hotel.
The scandal appears to have tarnished Seto’s reputation and he has already agreed to sever ties with sponsor All Nippon Airways, his country’s national airline.
The 26-year-old, who started swimming at the age of five, won gold medals at the 2012, 2014 and 2016 World Short Distance Championships.
He holds the short-distance world records in the 200-meter butterfly and the 400-meter medley.
Japanese sports officials have traditionally acted swiftly and severely when athletes tarnish the country’s honor.
In 2014, short-distance breaststroke world champion Naoya Tomita was suspended for 17 months after being caught stealing the camera of a working photographer from the pool deck at the Asian Games.
At the same event four years later, four members of the Japanese basketball team were sent home and suspended for a year after checking into a hotel with prostitutes.
Badminton player Kenichi Tago was kicked off the 2016 Olympic team after losing nearly $ 100,000 in illegal casinos.
– The sun
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