Koga axed after failed drug test

Former swimming world champion Junya Koga has been kicked out of the Japan squad for the Asian Games in August after failing a drug test, officials said yesterday.

The 30-year-old, who won the 100 metres backstroke world title in 2009, tested positive for traces of banned muscle-building substances, according to the Japan Swimming Federation.

Koga denied taking the substances knowingly, but admitted taking a diet of supplements which could have been to blame.

He now faces a maximum ban of four years.

"I feel ashamed, miserable and frustrated," the swimmer told a news conference.

"To those who support me, I'm deeply sorry."

Koga, who won a silver medal in the 50m backstroke at last year's world championships in Budapest, Hungary, has won gold medals at the last three Asian Games dating back to 2006 in Doha, Qatar. - AFP