The most interesting “country” in this year’s Winter Olympics is, to many, the ever-ambiguous Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR). The Russian Olympic Committee was notoriously banned for its doping scandal stemming from the 2014 Sochi Games — but then it also sort of wasn’t banned.
There are nearly 170 Russian competitors in this year’s Games, and if there were a doping violation at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games — which there was Tuesday — most would justifiably have pointed to one of those Olympic Athletes from Russia as the guilty party.
Only it wasn’t a Russian.
On Tuesday, Japanese speed skater Kei Saito was suspended after a positive doping test, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport reported that he accepted his suspension after a test showed signs of a masking agent.
Saito was set to compete in the men’s 5,000-meter relay on Wednesday. Instead, he will leave the Olympic Village on Tuesday.
It’s a rare blemish on a traditionally clean Japanese Olympic Committee, who had never had an athlete suspended due to doping.
More Olympic coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• Now finally an Olympian, Adam Rippon hope reach extends beyond gay community
• How Jamie Anderson beat the wind to win Olympic gold
• How Russia’s Olympic fans are making a mockery of the IOC
• The NHL’s best (Zamboni drivers) are in PyeongChang, no matter what people tell you
• Polish luger loses protective visor, makes run anyway