SHIHAN KENJI MIDORI PRESIDENT OF THE
JAPANESE KYOKUSHIN ORGANIZATION (IKO2)
TAKES A STRONG STAND AGAINST THE USE OF ILLEGAL DRUGS
IN KYOKUSHIN COMPETITION

 

What happened on the 32nd All Japan Tournament, held on December 3rd, 2000, should be and example to all Kyokushin groups towards the Doping Test. A doping Committee should be establish in all Kyokushin groups and work together with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to make the doping test a requirement in all Kyokushin Competition, to assure the safety of all competitors and at the same time to discourage the use of drugs in the Dojos. We are very happy and congratulate Shihan Kenji Midori for his decision on this matter and we hope that all the others Kyokushin groups implement and make this test mandatory in all Kyokushin competition. Below is the official statement by Shihan Kenji Midori regarding this incident.


 January 15, 2001

Announcement related to the result of the 32nd All Japan Tournament

(The down below statement was handed out to mass-media at a Press-Conference held January 15th, 2001, TOKYO)

With this statement, we would like to make explanation about the changes that have been made in the result of the 32nd All Japan Tournament, held on December 3rd, 2000. 

The winner of the tournament, Norichika Tsukamoto has been disqualified, which has resulted in the following result: 1st Place: Suzuki Kunihiro, 2nd Place Sakamoto Shinji, 3rd Place: Sato Yoshitaka, 4th Place Osaka Yuichiro, 5th Place Ishihara Tadashi, 6th Place Sotodate Shinichi, 7th Place Akutsu Yushiro.

The reason for the withdrawal of the Champion Title of Tsukamoto is that the doping test that was done in connection with the tournament, showed a positive result of Tsukamotofs test. Down below, we will try to explain in detail about this matter:

On December 3rd, competitors of the All Japan Tournament left samples of urine to use for the doping test. Persons present at that time were a doctor as well as the doping committee of our organization. The test itself was done by a doping test authority, officially recognized by the IOC (International Olympic Committee). On December 15th, the Chairman of the Doping Committee, Tabata, received information of the result of the tests, and it was known that Tsukamoto was positive, and I as the President of the Committee was contacted.

On December 19th, myself (Midori), the IKO President, Yasuhiro Shichinohe, Shigeru Tabata, Keiji Sampei (JKO advisor), Takehisa Iriki (JKO Vice President), Tokujun Ishi (JKO/IKO Office Manager), had a meeting with Tsukamoto in order to ask him about this. Tsukamoto explained that he had used marijuana one week before the tournament. We decided then to establish an extra committee, with Isao Kobayashi (Vice President) as Chairman in order to take responsibility for this matter.

Further, on the same day, myself together with another four persons, visited the doping test authority, and after reconfirming the result of the test, we visited Mr. Imai, who is the lawyer for our organization, and explained the situation for him, and on the same evening, Mr. Imai and Tsukamoto met and discussed the matter, mostly about how to deal with the matter as regarding to the involvement of the police.

The following day, December 20th, Mr. Imai contacted the Police office in Shibuya, and made an appointment, and on December 22nd, he met with the person in charge at the Police Office. The result of the discussions was that Tsukamoto should report himself to the Police. (At this time, Mr. Imai, had not mentioned the name of Tsukamoto)

On December 25th, Tsukamoto went together with Mr. Imai to the Shibuya Police Office, and an interrogation was made, and he gave also a sample of urine for a test at that time.

On January 9th, Mr. Imai was contacted by the Shibuya Police Office with the information that the result of the urine test was negative, they had found nothing that showed that Tsukamoto had used marijuana or any other illegal drug, thus this was not a matter for the Police to handle. After receiving this information, the Chairman of the extra committee, Kobayashi called for a committee meeting, which was held at the Kimura Law Office, at which Mr. Imai is working. Myself, Tabata, Iriki, Ishi attended this meeting, and discussed at that time, what charges should me made in this case. We came to the following decision, which are all made in the name of Isao Kobayashi, Chairman of the extra committee.

         Consequences for Tsukamoto

(1)   Withdrawal of the Champion Title of the 32nd All Japan Tournament.

(2)   Suspension from Official Tournaments and any other Official Event for a period of one year and six months.

(3)   This means that Tsukamoto may not participate in the World Cup to be held in Hungary next June (Tsukamoto was supposed to represent Japan in the Heavy Weight), instead, the reserve competitor, SAKAMOTO Shinji will be one of the member of the Japanese Team, heavy weight. As to who will be the reserve competitor instead of Sakamoto, an announcement will be made later on.

   Other persons

As to myself as the President of our Organization, I have been given a strict warning for putting our Organization in this situation.
As to Takehisa Iriki, Branch Chief of Tokyo Jonan Kawasaki Branch, which is the Branch that Tsukamoto belongs to, he has been given a strict warning as well for not being able to have better control over Tsukamoto.

Shihan Iriki was previously elected to be the main Coach of the Japanese World Cup Team, however, he has decided to resign from this position, and the organization has accepted his resignation. As to who will succeed Shihan Iriki as Main Coach, an announcement will be made later on.

Above, I have tried to explain the facts in this matter.

I would also like to give my comments on how I, as the President of JKO looks upon this matter. There is no word that could explain how I feel about Tsukamotofs use of marijuana. Just to think of all the young ones who have had Tsukamoto as their goal, by this, their dream has been destroyed. I have nothing to say in defense if I receive critics about our motto to geducate the younger generationh. As to the fact that such a famous competitor of our organization has caused such a scandal, I can only extend my deepest apologies to the members, students of Kyokushinkaikan, to the parents of the junior members, to Kyokushin fans, and to those who have supported our organization, and to the society in total.

When I heard about this fact, my first reaction was g No it cannot be true!, not just because of Tsukamoto, but no karate-ka could do such a thing!h, and I couldnft believe the words I heard from the Chairman of the Doping Committee, Tabata. That is why I went myself to the Doping Test Authority, in order to confirm the result. Further, This kind of scandal will have a very negative influence on not only Tsukamoto, but also our Organization, we have to be prepared on receiving large damages and there will be consequences that we have to deal with. However, since Sosai Oyama passed away, our organization has continuously worked for creating an open and fair organization. If we would not keep this scandal to ourselves, the work we have done this far would be self-destroyed. Considering this, I believe that although this will not easily be forgotten by the society, we should stand up and be straight and honest about the whole affair. Which means that we have to give a clear gpunishmenth to Tsukamoto, which should be officially announced.

As to the consequences that Tsukamoto will have to take for his actions, we have just announced them in this text, and I believe that there are different reactions towards this, but I want you all to know that before making this decision, we took a look at the different cases of doping cases in the IOC (, as well as considering the fact that marijuana is an illegal drug.

I also would like to explain here, that Tsukamoto did not use and steroids, which means that the fights made at the 32nd All Japan Tournament were grealh, there were no influence on his fighting because of using drugs. This means that as to the competition, the strongest competitor was Tsukamoto. However, we still decided to withdraw him from the Champion Title, since marijuana is an illegal drug in Japan, and it is also listed as a forbidden drug according to IOCfs doping standards, and in the Olympics, or other sports competition, this would be treated in the same way as we have done this time.

Further, I also heard that the reason for Tsukamoto to use marijuana was that he felt such a heavy pressure before the tournament, but if we take a look at this matter from a gBUDOh point of view, just by the fact that he has to use drugs in order to control himself mentally, he has already lost the competition. Any competitor is nervous, feels a pressure and has a hard time before a tournament, but only a person who can handle these feelings and this pressure, and still make it to the top can be called a true Champion. Only a person, who has built up an extreme mental strength through vigorous training of the martial art, can become the strongest of all and be a true Champion. So this is also one of the reasons for changing the order of the winners at this tournament, thus the Champion of the 32nd All Japan Tournament is SUZUKI Kunihiro.

As to Tsukamoto, he shows a strong repentance for what he has done, and he has accepted the consequences, and is at the moment in domiciliary confinement at his home. I am sure that you all are aware of that Tsukamoto has been contributing a lot to our organization, since the 6th World Open Tournament, and that he has meant a lot for our competitors. And although he has caused this scandal, his contributions to increasing the level of our competitors cannot be denied. So, our organization does still hope that Tsukamoto will, in the future, once again be the goal and dream for the younger generation, that he one day will come back and show himself as a true BUDO-ka and Karate-ka. I myself believe that Tsukamoto can do this. I understand that this is not anything that I should say at this stage, but still, I hope that you all will in silence support the comeback of Tsukamoto.

At last, at the 7th World Open Tournament, Burghard Geartner, did also show a positive result in the doping test, and, although that was another drug that was used at that time, it is extremely sad that we have had these two doping cases. We established a Doping Committee in our organization just before the 7th World Open Tournament, and this has resulted in that at two tournaments we have had competitors using drugs that are not permitted. Drugs have entered our Kyokushin Karate Competition. As an organization we will take this problem very seriously and work very hard in order to have a clean competition, and we will be very strict towards those who acts against the rules.

If thinking back, I believe that we have received a very positive response from the public by introducing a Doping test in our tournaments, but at the same time, I think that there is much left for us to learn as to the work that has to be done in order to prevent the use of drugs etc. I believe that I, as the President of the Organization has not worked hard enough in order prevent the use of drugs, which is also why I was given a strict warning from the organization. I will therefore work for increasing the knowledge about doping amongst our competitors and leaders, and amongst others this will be done in our organizationfs magazine gKyokushin Damashih as well as seminars etc.

If we, as an organization are working for an open, fair and clean organization, our tournaments should also be filled with Budo Spirit, and everybody should fight on the same conditions. And in the future, we will conduct clean tournaments, and only by doing that we may rebuild our reputation.

I also would like to add that our organization was approved of as a NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION, last year in September, and we are thus working as such an organization already. This means that our responsibility towards society is even heavier than previously, and we will not repeat this kind of scandal again.

Our organization has had three mottos, or three pillars which we have worked according to: gEducation of the younger generationh,
g International Exchangeh, gContribution to Societyh. We will not change these mottos, but instead work even harder to put our words into reality, and that will be the only true apology towards society for what we have caused by this scandal.

I hope for your continuously support towards Kyokushinkaikan and at the same time, I would like to end this statement with my deepest apologies in this regard.


Kenji Midori
PRESIDENT
Japanese Kyokushin Organization