• Kyodo


The Japan Rugby Football Union on Wednesday requested all teams in the country’s Top League interview their players following the arrests last month of two Toyota Verblitz members on suspicion of possessing cocaine.

At a meeting in Tokyo, the sport’s governing body asked representatives from each team to talk with players in person to seek any possible information about the matter. The JRFU also requested that all teams submit a report.

Ryota Kabashima and Steven Yates, both members of the Toyota Motor Corp. team, were arrested on suspicion of violating the narcotics control law. The company has suspended the team’s operations since Kabashima’s arrest on June 20 and pulled out of the ongoing Top League Cup.

The JRFU also released a list of countermeasures Wednesday in relation to the scandal.

The five-item list includes creating a new organization that focuses on enhancing compliance within the sport, and waiting for a legal decision to be made before determining any punishment regarding the recent arrests.

The next Top League season is not scheduled to kick off until January 2020, following a break after the Rugby World Cup finishes in November.

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