Four Japanese basketball players who were sent home from the Asian Games for hiring prostitutes while on a night out in Jakarta have been suspended from playing for one year.
Japan Basketball Association head Yuko Mitsuya bowed in apology before making the announcement at a news conference in Tokyo yesterday.
“They lacked the sense of pride and responsibility that players in the Japanese delegation should have,” she said.
Mitsuya, a former Olympic volleyball player, said that her salary would be cut 10 percent for three months and that the salaries of three other association officials would be cut by the same amount for two months.
The four players — Yuya Nagayoshi, Takuya Hashimoto, Takuma Sato and Keita Imamura — were kicked off Japan’s Asian Games team and sent home from Indonesia on Monday last week.
They wore uniforms bearing the Japanese flag when they met with prostitutes after eating and drinking in an entertainment district, Japanese officials said.
The incident came to light after a newspaper published photographs of the players out on the town.
“This is a very foolish and disappointing problem, but the truth cannot be changed,” Mitsuya said. “So I think it is our top challenge to learn and grow from this problem.”
The eight remaining players on Japan’s squad have continued to compete in the Asian Games.
After missing out on the medal round, Japan lost 113-80 to the Philippines and were relegated to a playoff for seventh place against Indonesia.
Japan coach Herman Mandole said playing with two-thirds of a regular roster had been difficult, but the remaining eight players were staying strong.
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