• Kyodo

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Former Japan handball player Daisuke Miyazaki was arrested on Monday for allegedly assaulting a woman at a hotel in Nagoya, investigative sources said.

The 39-year-old Miyazaki, who played for Osaki Osol in the Japan Handball League and Alcobendas in Spain’s premier league in addition to the men’s national team, have denied the allegation, the sources said.

According to the sources, Miyazaki was drinking in a group of four men and women on Sunday night and is suspected of pulling the hair of a female acquaintance while at a hotel the following day.

The incident was brought to light after the woman contacted Aichi Prefecture police. Miyazaki’s management company declined to speak when asked about the arrest.

His lawyer said Miyazaki claimed he was scrambling for a wallet with the woman but did not pull her hair, adding Miyazaki was showing regret over the incident.

Miyazaki was born in Oita Prefecture and played a leading role for Osaki Osol after studying abroad in Spain.

He had a brief stint with Spanish club Alcobendas during the 2009-2010 season, and left Osaki Osol in April 2019 to play for his alma mater, Nippon Sport Science University, in the hope of returning to the national team and competing at the postponed Tokyo Olympics next summer.

Miyazaki had last been called up to the national squad at the 2019 men’s handball world championships, where Japan finished last among 24 teams.

“It would be extremely regrettable if there indeed was violence by a player who has been a leading figure in Japanese handball, someone who has to set an example for those younger,” the Japan Handball Association said in a statement.

The Japanese men’s handball team will be competing at their first Olympics since the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul via their berth granted as hosts.

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