Skip to main content

Does Kirin's "Harecha Tea" Contain Banned Substances? Kirin Denies Claims After Athlete Warns Others Not to Drink It

http://nlab.itmedia.co.jp/nl/articles/1503/09/news147.html

translated by Brett Larner

A prominent member of the athletics community has warned the public that Kirin World Kitchen Harecha Tea may contain banned substances, but in response to an inquiry Kirin PR issued a statement saying, "Nothing which could be referred to as a banned substance has been detected."

Kirin World Kitchen Harecha Tea is a new product that was released on Feb. 24, an herbal tea combining lemon grass, mint, rosemary and geranium with green tea.  The problem in question is the use of geranium.  Geranium includes the banned substance methylhexaneamine, leading members of the athletics world to say, "Don't drink it before competitions," on their blogs and Twitter.  In particular, two-time World Championships bronze medalist Dai Tamesue's warning on the subject has had a great impact, retweeted more than 2000 times as of this writing.

"I received information that this tea contains a banned substance called geranium and that athletes should not drink it in the 5 days before a competition. http://t.co/rgvFfLRaNz" -- Dai Tamesue (@daijapan) March 8, 2015

In response to an inquiry on the subject, Kirin's public relations department responded, "This product has been inspected and nothing that could be called a banned substance was detected."  The banned substance methylhexaneamine is often listed as "geranium oil" or a similar name on supplement ingredient lists but is typically artificially produced through chemical synthesis.  Studies seem to indicate that it has not been detected in natural geranium, and at the present time no positive doping test results have occurred as a result of drinking Harecha Tea.

All told it looks safe to say that the chance that drinking Harecha Tea will result in testing positive for doping is extremely low.  To be completely sure, athletes may be better off not drinking it before competitions, but there seems to be no problem whatsoever with drinking it in normal day-to-day life.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Chebii Returns - Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon Elite Field

Defending champ Ezekiel Chebii (Kenya) returns to lead the field for the Mar. 4 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon. Chebii is one of three men in the field with recent 2:06 times, his 2:06:07 in Amsterdam two years ago leading Tadesse Abraham (Switzerland) and Abera Kuma (Ethiopia) to form a clear trio of favorites.

Making up the second pack are four current sub-2:10 Japanese men, 2017 Gold Coast winner Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), Rio Olympian Satoru Sasaki (Asahi Kasei), and Sasaki's teammates Takuya Fukatsu and Fumihiro Maruyama. The addition of sub-61 half marathoner Kenta Murayama in his second shot at the marathon after a failed debut in Tokyo two years ago makes for a formidable quartet of men from 2017 and 2018 New Year Ekiden national champion Asahi Kasei all aligned in training and talent.

With Japan's depth it's never surprising to see a relatively anonymous runner make a breakthrough and factor into the action. Yoshiki Takenouchi (NTT Nishi Nihon) was one of the …

Yamazaki, Ndirangu, Kamulu and Shitara Top Weekend Road Racing Action

Snow and cold impacted road races across Japan over the weekend, but at the top level almost every event went off as planned. In his marathon debut, Shota Yamazaki (Yakult) downed two-time defending champ Ryoichi Matsuo and debuting training partner Takumi Honda of the locally-based New Year Ekiden national champion Asahi Kasei corporate team to take the top spot at the Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon in a three-way sprint finish.

Shaking off first-timer Keisuke Tanaka (Fujitsu) late in the race, Yamazaki did all the work in the lead trio with the Asahi Kasei duo hanging off both of his shoulders. Hitting a bridge with 750 m to go Honda surged into the lead with Matsuo following. Yamazaki fell back, looking behind him with 500 m to go and seeming to have settled for 3rd. At 400 m to go Matsuo went to the front and looked to be on track to become only the second man to win Nobeoka three times, but as the pair rounded the final corner Yamazaki came back with a kick that left both his riv…

In Memory of Ken Young

I'm very saddened to hear of the passing of Ken Young, founder of the Association of Road Racing Statisticians. If you're not familiar with Ken or the ARRS, Amby Burfoot's 2016 piece on him in Runners World, The Endless Toil of the Big Data Guy, says everything you need to know. Back in the early days of JRN, Ken was one of several industry people to contact me after I published JRN's first hit article, 397 Under 70 Minutes: The 20th Ageo City Half Marathon. He wanted verification of the results and, seemingly having missed Ageo before, asked me to research its history and past results.

That soon led to me transliterating results from Japanese road, track and cross-country races for him on a weekly basis, results otherwise unavailable to the outside world except for some already covered by Japanese contributors Ken Nakamura and Shigenobu Ota. For the last 10 years I've spent about 10 hours on average every Sunday night and Monday morning, sometimes Tuesday, someti…