Former professional baseball player Kazuhiro Kiyohara, who was arrested last week for alleged drug possession, became the target of a drug investigation by police in Kochi Prefecture 10 years ago, media reports said Tuesday.
The former slugger surfaced as a suspected user of an illegal stimulant after Kochi police began a probe into one of his teammates at that time, the reports said, quoting investigative sources.
Although the Kochi police continued investigating Kiyohara, they were unable to obtain enough evidence to take him into custody, according to the reports.
The former baseball star was arrested late Feb. 2 when syringes and what is believed to be an illegal substance were found in his condominium. He was taken into custody on suspicion of possessing 0.1 gram of a stimulant and has already admitted that it belonged to him and that he used it himself. Urine samples confirm he used the substance.
His arrest has shocked not only the nation’s sports world but also some businesses as well.
Major publisher Shogakukan has decided to suspend a manga series in one of its comic books themed on Kiyohara’s baseball life.