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Asian Games: Japanese basketball players sent home over ‘paying for prostitutes’

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Four Japanese basketball players were kicked off their Asian Games team and sent home on Monday after delegation head Yasuhiro Yamashita said they “spent the night in a hotel with women”.

The players reportedly left the athletes’ village after 10pm for dinner in Jakarta on Thursday and “paid for the services of prostitutes” later that night, according to Japanese news agency Kyodo News.

Mr Yamashita told a news conference that the four players hooked up with the women after eating and drinking in an entertainment district and were easily identified by wearing Japan-emblazoned shirts.

 “I met with the athletes and they deeply regret what they did,” Mr Yamashita said. “I apologise from the bottom of my heart as the head of the delegation.”

The incident took place after Japan’s 82-71 win over Qatar in a group-stage game last Thursday.

apanese Olympic officials said they learned of the incident after a newspaper published photographs of the players out on the town.

The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) identified the four as Takuya Hashimoto, Keita Imamura, Yuya Nagayoshi, and Takuma Sato, and said the players had to pay for their own flights home from Jakarta.

The JOC described the players’ behaviour as a “clear breach of the team’s conduct code, which specifies athletes are to be role models.”

The eight remaining players in the Japan squad have a game against Hong Kong on Wednesday.

 

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