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Asian Games 2018

Asian Games: Japan expels four basketball players for ‘buying sex’ in Jakarta’s notorious Blok M nightlife district

The quartet, still wearing team uniform, were taken to a hotel in a red light area by local touts after celebrating win over Qatar

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 August, 2018, 11:47am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 August, 2018, 12:30pm

The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) expelled four players from its Asian Games 2018 basketball team in Jakarta on Monday following allegations of misconduct during a night out in a notorious red light area of the city, according to Japanese media.

Reports first surfaced late on Sunday night that the four players, named as Takuya Hashimoto, Keita Imamura, Yuya Nagayoshi and Takuma Sato, had been witnessed behaving inappropriately in a late-night bar.

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A senior official with the JOC went further, revealing that the players had paid for sex during the night out, at a hastily organised media conference on Monday morning.

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Japanese delegation chief Yasuhiro Yamashita said the players had been stripped of their team membership and sent home.

“The Japan National Olympic Committee decided to withdraw their accreditation and send them back to Japan early this morning,” Yamashita said.

It was revealed that the unnamed players were wearing their team uniforms when they left the athletes’ village and headed to the Blok M area of south Jakarta for a meal following the team’s win over Qatar on Thursday.

After their meal they were reportedly solicited by a Japanese-speaking local who led them to a nearby bar where they drank for a couple of hours before proceeding to a hotel with women where, Yamashita revealed, they went ahead with “such action”.

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“A day after our arrival here the Chef de Mission and other top officials told the athletes that they had to be role models in Jakarta,” Yamashita said.

“I deeply apologise to the Japanese people as the head of the delegation,” he added.

Japan are among the top seeds in the men’s basketball competition, and are due to play Hong Kong in their final group game on Wednesday, where a win could be required to ensure they progress to the last-eight.

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