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Oda delays return to competition

Kyodo News

Figure skater Nobunari Oda, who was suspended for riding a motorcycle while drunk last summer, will sit out the upcoming All Japan Figure Skating Championships and delay his planned return to competition, the Japan Skating Federation said Monday. Oda has opted to miss the championships beginning Wednesday in Osaka, citing mental stress as the main factor for his latest decision, which also dashes his hopes of skating in the 2008 World Figure Skating Championships to be held in Sweden in March. In early August, the JSF suspended Oda for five months from international meets and three months from domestic competition after the 20-year-old was caught by police riding his motorbike under the influence of alcohol on his way home in Osaka Prefecture on July 27.