Minoru Kimura was the subject of performance enhancing drug related accusations. He decided that the best way to refute them was by taking a test and publicizing the result. Only one problem, turns out he was a PED user and he tested positive!

Beyond Kickboxing has the scoop on a story that will be seriously embarrassing to both the kickboxer and his employers. Apparently Rizin promoter Nobuyuki Sakakibara suspected that Kimura has been breaking the rules but was assured by the 29 year old that he was completely clean,

We had our suspicions and I told him before the fight that if you are doping you can’t fight for us. He told me “No, I’m good.” so we put him on the card. He lied to me, there’s nothing to talk about. He shouldn’t have done it. That are my honest feelings.

As a result of the failed test Kimura’s stoppage win over Daryl Lokoku at Rizin 43 has been changed to a no contest. He also admitted to using steroids before the wins over Kuntap Charoenchai and Yusuke Yachi and it will be interesting to see if these remain on his record.

Red handed

Having been caught red handed Kimura, to his credit, is not even bothering with the ‘tainted supplement’ excuse. He admitted to using PEDs in the past but claimed that he had stayed on the straight and narrow recently,

 “To be honest, I never took any prohibited drugs during my K-1 days. When I thought I might not be able to compete for two to three years, I tried taking it from the month I quit K-1 to improve my motivation and training quality, and I felt the effects. When I decided to go up to Rizin I knew that Rizin performs doping tests, so I stopped taking them, but it remained in my body and was detected in their tests anyway. I am truly sorry towards Daryl Lokoku, the event officials, and my fans.”

In 2019 Ivan Shtyrkov was handed a two year USADA ban after testing positive for anabolic steroids ahead of his UFC debut. But Rizin signed him a few weeks later and he competed on one of their cards while serving a suspension.


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Changing times

Back then the Japanese promotion didn’t appear to care whether fighters were using PEDs or not. But according to Sakakibara times have changed with Beyond Kickboxing summarizing his comments on the topic as,

“Rizin has performed doping tests for title fights and Grand Prix fights since the start of the company. Non-title fights are tested randomly. There here have been other positive tests in the past, but due to confidentiality obligations, those results have not been disclosed.”

Pride famously used to test fighters for recreational drugs but not performance enhancing drugs. But Rizin appears to be stricter and Kimura has fallen foul of the rules in a setback that looks to be almost entirely self inflicted.