The NPB Commissioner's Office announced today that they had Hirokazu Ibata file a formal report for committing a doping violation. He was also fined 3M yen by the Chunichi Dragons.
According to various reports, Ibata tested positive for the banned substance, prednisolone, in July this year. Investigators later found that the substance was an ingredient in eye medicine Ibata was (is?) taking. He originally had permission to use the eye medicine, through to May 2009, but an extension apparently was never filed.
Ibata becomes the first Japanese player to be charged with a doping violation since the rules were introduced in 2007.
UPDATE @ 7:24pm - Ibata actually has to file the report by the 10th. The actual drug test took place on 7/12. And the 3M yen fine was actually levied on the Chunichi Dragons for failing to keep their reports on players updated (as in, they were supposed to renew the paperwork that informed the league Ibata was taking medication that contained a banned substance).
UPDATE 9/2 @ 1:26pm - The violation was reportered on 7/30. Ibata was randomly picked to get tested out of a group of players. There are four levels of punishment and Ibata was given the lightest punishment: write up a full report on the incident (with an apology); 10 game suspension; 1 year suspension; indefinite suspension.
A total 543 players have been test since 2007 and 4 players have tested positive:
- Rick Guttormson - tested positive for finasteride in 8/2007 (found in his hair growth product), given 20 day suspension, Softbank fined 7.5M yen.
- Luis Gonzalez - tested positive for 4 substances, including an amphetamine, in 5/2008 (apparently being used to treat rheumatism), given 1 year suspension and ultimately released by Yomiuri.
- Daniel Rios - tested positive for hydroxystanozolol in 6/2008 (apparently being used for lower back / hip pain), given 1 year suspension, immediately released by Yakult.
- Kazuki Yoshimi - made the headlines on 10/22/2009 for getting garlic injections and almost got in trouble with the league (injections, unless for medical purposes, are forbidden), but was ok after it was decided the injections were used for medical purposes.
- Ibata - tested positive for prednisolone in 7/2010 (eye medication), told to write up full report on incident, Chunichi fined 3M yen.
UPDATE 9/2 @ 1:42pm - Investigations on 8/3 revealed that Chunichi failed to file paperwork that would extend the exception Ibata had on using eye medication with prednisolone in it. Going back a little further, Ibata filed paperwork for an exception through Chunichi on 4/21/2009 with an expiration date of 5/30/2009. Ibata and the team trainer apparently didn't understand the rules for exceptions and mistakenly thought they didn't have to apply for an extension.
UPDATE 9/2 @ 8:28pm - The name of the document the Dragons had to file is called the TUE form, or the Therapeutic Use Exemption form. The Dragons never gave Ibata a copy of the forms; they also don't have an Anti-Doping department to handle these types of forms / situations. Ibata was also using the medicine until 6/27/2011; and it takes prednisolone about a month to leave the body.