Basketball

JBA lifts ban on four ex-national team players caught paying for sex

Kyodo

The Japan Basketball Association said Thursday it has lifted the suspension of four former national team players who were caught buying sex during last year’s Asian Games in Indonesia.

The B-League players — Yuya Nagayoshi (Kyoto Hannaryz), Takuya Hashimoto (Osaka Evessa), Takuma Sato (Shiga Lakestars) and Keita Imamura (Niigata Albirex BB) — will be allowed to play in this weekend’s games.

The 2018-19 B. League regular season concludes next weekend.

The players had originally been suspended from competition for one year after the August incident that occurred while they were representing Japan at the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang.

All four players asked for the suspension to be lifted in March, and the JBA’s board of directors approved based on the deliberations of an arbitration committee.

Following a game in Jakarta, the players were introduced to women on the street in an entertainment district through Japanese men who acted as go-betweens, they then took the women to a nearby hotel.

After the scandal came to light, the players were kicked off of the national team and sent home.