The first doping suspension of the Winter Olympics is in, and it's not a Russian

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.

Kei Saito tested positive for doping on Tuesday and has left the Olympic Village.

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.

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