• Kyodo

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Meitoku Gijuku High School was replaced at the upcoming national high school baseball championship after it was revealed that the Kochi Prefecture school was involved in a scandal involving its players, the Japan High School Baseball Federation said Thursday.

The federation accepted the school’s request to be removed from the tournament and replaced by Kochi High School, the losing finalist at the Kochi regional qualifying tournament, for the 15-day event beginning Saturday at Koshien Stadium.

Kochi High School will appear at the summer tournament for the first time in 24 years and 10th time overall.

According to organizers, it is the first time that a school has pulled out and been replaced with another at the summer tournament after its official qualification.

The JHBF said that freshmen and sophomore students at Meitoku Gijuku belonging to the baseball team, which features nearly 130 players, were caught smoking at different times between April and July, and higher class students were involved in physically bullying younger ones.

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