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World’s top all-around swimmer suspended after scandal

Daiya Seto

GWANGJU, SOUTH KOREA - JULY 23: Daiya Seto of Japan looks on during the Men’s 200m Butterfly heats on day three of the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships at Nambu International Aquatics Centre on July 23, 2019 in Gwangju, South Korea. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

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Daiya Seto, the world’s top all-around swimmer, was suspended from competition for the rest of the year for unsportsmanlike conduct after it was reported last month that he had an extramarital affair, according to Japanese media.

“My careless act hurt my precious family and caused trouble and dismay for all my supporters, sponsoring companies and many other people,” Seto said in a reported statement three weeks ago, according to Kyodo News.

Seto reportedly reiterated his regret after the punishment was announced Tuesday.

“How can I apologize?” he said in a statement, according to a Reuters translation. “I have been asking myself if I can, but I think my apology is to continue swimming, restoring the trust of my family, who have been deeply hurt by my irresponsible behavior.

“I would like to seriously face swimming with the determination to start over so that my family and everyone will recognize me as a swimmer again. I’m really sorry.”

Two weeks ago, Seto resigned as Japanese Olympic swim team captain and severed ties with a corporate sponsor, according to Japanese media.

Seto, 26, swept the individual medleys at the 2019 World Championships, events that crown the world’s best all-around swimmer.

The Rio Olympic 400m IM bronze medalist could be Japan’s first gold medalist at the Tokyo Games, given the men’s 400m IM final is the Sunday morning after the Friday night Opening Ceremony.

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