Go ahead and laugh, because the former midfielder will have the last laugh all the way to the bank… his big bank of poo.

The sport of soccer has come a long way in Japan, and those who have achieved its highest levels have found themselves with a wide range of opportunities from releasing their own fragrance to promoting pachinko machines.

And then there’s Keita Suzuki, a former defensive midfielder for the Japanese national football team as well as the Urawa Reds for 15 years. Now, three years after his retirement from the sport, Suzuki has firmly established himself in the glamorous field of human waste collection and analysis.

▼ Suzuki’s a natural for this with a real Tony Stark vibe…
Too-Much-Iron-In-Your-Stool Man

In 2015, he helped set up the Athlete micro-biome Bank or AuB (pronounced like “orb”) which aims to use data harvested from feces to help improve athletes performance and overall health. According to the AuB website, humans have between one and two kilograms (two to four pounds) of intestinal bacteria in our bodies and science is just beginning to understand their full impact on our daily lives from obesity to allergies.

Under the leadership of Suzuki as president, AuB too seeks to unravel the mysteries of the intestinal microbiome, at least with regards to its impact on professional sports. Through analyzing an athlete’s bacteria they can offer real-time counseling with regards to diet and lifestyle to ensure peak performance.

And what better window into this complex ecosystem is there than a fresh turd? So, last year they held an 10-day open call for crap in a campaign titled: “Please help AuB research! We need everyone’s poop! Send poo and win a T-Shirt!”

▼ They currently aren’t accepting poop but may again in the future.
Only send it then, otherwise it will come across as a form of harassment.

It was a rousing success and AuB gathered specimens from 150 young men and women in addition to those of 700 athletes from 17 different sports. Celebrity poopers include Rakuten Golden Eagles catcher Motohiro Shima, pro-golfer Rika Inoue, and the entire Konica Minolta Track & Field Club.

All of this fecal matter is stored in the Athlete micro-biome Bank — quite possibly the worst bank in the world to rob — and analyzed to find what bacteria are unique to those with athletic prowess and to what extent.

It all might sound disgusting, but Suzuki and AuB may actually be sitting on a mountain of brown (or sometimes greenish-brown) gold. As their knowledge grows, so too will their range of services including food and drinks custom made for a person’s unique micro-biome.

This new wave of performance enhancement is expected to be the next big thing in sports, surpassing current “illegal” substances in effectiveness and safety both to health and from the threat of harsh penalties, such as still being able to participate in the Olympics but without your flag or country’s name properly displayed.

Source: AuB, Asahi Shimbun
Featured image: Facebook/@athlete.microbiome.bank