• Kyodo

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Former world No. 2 Kento Momota will have his suspension for illegal gambling lifted on May 15, the Nippon Badminton Association’s board of directors decided Sunday.

Momota was suspended for gambling in casinos, which are illegal in Japan. Since May 30 last year after serving a 30-day ban from his club team NTT East, he resumed practicing while taking part in rehabilitation programs that involved community service.

The 22-year-old’s behavior, including his job performance with NTT East, was considered by the board and no objections were raised to lifting his suspension. Momota could return to competition as early as May 27 at a Japan ranking tournament.

Momota, a medal hopeful for the Rio Olympics before he was suspended, and his former NTT East teammate Kenichi Tago — who was fired by the company — were both removed from the Badminton World Federation’s registry.

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