XtraTime Web Desk:Four Japanese basketball players have been sent home from the Asian Games in disgrace for paying prostitutes for sex, the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) said on Monday
The players were spotted in a notorious red light district of Jakarta in their national jerseys on Thursday night, following a 82-71 win over Qatar, JOC officials told a press conference.
The quartet were sent packing immediately and had their accreditation withdrawn, said Japanese delegation Chief Yashuhiro Yamashita at a hastily organised press conference.
News that Yuya Nagayoshi, Takuya Hashimoto, Takuma Sato, Keita Imamura had been booted out will come as a major embarrassment for Japan, who were forced to send a swimmer home from the last Asian Games in 2014 for stealing a journalist’s camera.
“I just feel a sense of shame,” Japan’s chef de mission Yasuhiro Yamashita told reporters. “We deeply apologise and intend to give the athletes thorough guidance from now on.”
The basketball players had dinner after leaving the Games village last Thursday and are believed to have been solicited by a pimp to go to a hotel with women, Yamashita added.
They “paid for the services of prostitutes”, Yamashita said, according to Japan’s Kyodo news agency.
The story broke after the four, who play in Japan’s B-League, were spotted in the red light district by a reporter for Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper.
“I would like to humbly apologise to the Japanese public, the JOC and everyone who supports basketball for this deplorable incident,” Japan basketball chief Yuko Mitsuya said in a statement.
“We will decide on the appropriate punishment for the four players once we have heard all the facts. We need to work harder to make sure this kind of scandal does not happen again.”
Japanese swimmer Naoya Tomita was expelled from the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, four years ago after being caught on video stealing a journalist’s camera.