Four-time world champion Daiya Seto is a man under fire after he was suspended for the rest of the year for gross misconduct.
According to Japan’s Swimming Federation, Mr Seto breached sportsmanlike conduct standards after having an extramarital affair.
The federation handed down the punishment on Tuesday. Seto, however, will be eligible for next year's Tokyo Olympics.
The reigning world champion in the men's 200 and 400m, resigned as captain of Japan's Olympic swimming team in September after admitting to the affair.
"How can I apologise? 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 behaviour.
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"I would like to seriously face swimming with the determination to start over so that my family and everyone will recognise me as a swimmer again. I’m really sorry,” Seto told Hochi Sports.
Following the scandal that broke headlines worldwide, Seto agreed to end ties with sponsor All Nippon Airways.
He won the gold medal in the 400m individual medley at 2012, 2014, and 2016 world short-course championships, as well as at the 2013 and 2015 world long course championships.
The Japanese holds the world records in the 200m butterfly and the 400m individual medley (both short course).
Seto is the first Asian swimmer to become a world champion in the individual medley.