• Kyodo


Australian rugby legend George Smith will no longer play for Suntory Sungoliath after the club said Thursday it had canceled the player’s contract for his alleged assault of a taxi driver late last year.

The 37-year-old flanker was arrested on Dec. 31 on suspicion of punching a male driver in the face and chest in a western Tokyo suburb after the driver pursued him for fleeing without paying his ¥10,000 ($90) fare.

He was released after 18 days in custody, with prosecutors deciding not to indict him.

In a statement on their website, Suntory said it made the decision to cancel Smith’s contract as of Tuesday, treating the incident as a grave matter despite the fact Smith had not been prosecuted.

“In addition to the victim and those involved, we sincerely apologize to the many people to whom we have caused trouble,” Suntory said in a statement.

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