Kazuki Ganaha finally had his 6-game suspension (imposed by the J.League in May of 2007) overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Tuesday.
The J.League has apologised to Ganaha and promised to help remove his name from FIFA's list of doping violators. However, they have refused to return the 10 million yen fine imposed on the club.
The court ruled that the vitamin infusion given to Ganaha by Frontale's team doctor "was a legitimate treatment...within the meaning of the 2007 World Anti-Doping Agency Code."
The so-called "garlic injection" was administered after the player complained of flu-like symptoms early last season.
"I'm glad that I persisted in my convictions," said Ganaha at the outcome of an appeal which has cost him around $100,000 in legal expenses. "I'm doing this so other players don't end up in the same position."
"We must accept the ruling," admitted J.League chairman Kenji Onitake. "We caused him a lot of hardship for a year and there are things we need to reflect upon."
However, after a meeting with Kawasaki president Shimpei Takeda, a defiant J.League chief secretary Hideyuki Hanyu insisted, "According to the tone of the CAS decision, our original ruling was correct."
Let's hope Kazuki can now put these proceedings behind him and rediscover the form that saw him score 18 goals from 32 appearances in the 2006 season, as well as 3 goals for the Japanese national team.