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Oddly Enough

Figure skater banned after being stopped on moped

Japan's Nobunari Oda performs during the men's short program of the World Figure Skating Championships in Tokyo March 21, 2007. Oda was suspended from international competition for five months on Thursday after police caught him riding his moped while under the influence of alcohol. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese figure skater Nobunari Oda was suspended from international competition for five months on Thursday after police caught him riding his moped while under the influence of alcohol.

The 20-year-old, a descendant of the mighty 16th century warlord Oda Nobunaga, was also banned from domestic competition for three months by the Japan Skating Federation (JSF).

JSF officials imposed a further penalty on Oda by suspending all financial aid for his training, which only the federation’s elite skaters receive, until the end of the year.

“JSF president (Seiko) Hashimoto met Oda face-to-face this morning and informed him of their decision,” a JSF spokesman told Reuters. “Oda was very contrite.”

Oda, a former world junior champion, was pulled over at a police checkpoint while riding his moped in Osaka last week. Police were set to file papers to local prosecutors citing him for riding under the influence of alcohol.

The university student admitted to drinking two glasses of beer and a glass of distilled spirits at a restaurant before he was stopped by police.

His great ancestor Oda Nobunaga conquered most of the country before his death in 1582.

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