“I intend to sincerely give my full attention to swimming … so that I may regain the trust of my family, whom I hurt deeply with my irre...
“I intend to sincerely give my full attention to swimming … so that I may regain the trust of my family, whom I hurt deeply with my irresponsible behavior, and regain the acceptance of my family as well as all of you as a swimmer,” Seto said in a statement released through his management company on Tuesday.
Seto, 26, admitted to the affair and resigned as captain of Japan’s Olympic swim team last month after the magazine published the story. He still will be able to swim in next year’s Tokyo Olympics and already has qualified by virtue of the world championships he won in 2019. However, he has lost sponsorship deals with the Japanese Olympic Committee and All Nippon Airways.
Japanese sporting officials have previously issued strict punishments to athletes who, in their eyes, have tarnished the country’s honor. In 2014, the Japan Swimming Federation suspended Naoya Tomita — a world short-course breaststroke champion — for 17 months after he was caught stealing a professional photographer’s camera from the pool deck at the 2014 Asian Games.
In 2018, the Japanese Canoe Federation suspended kayaker Yasuhiro Suzuki for eight years after he admitted to spiking an opponent’s drink with anabolic steroids in an attempt to get him to fail a drug test. Two years earlier, Olympic badminton player Kenichi Tago was kicked off the national team after losing nearly $100,000 at illegal casinos in Japan, where most forms of gambling are prohibited.