(Reuters) - Japanese trailblazer Kento Momota will miss this year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics after being given an indefinite suspension by national badminton bosses for visiting an illegal casino, Kyodo News reported on Monday.
The 21-year-old world number two, fellow shuttler Kenichi Tago and other team mates from their domestic Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corp side admitted to wagering at the Tokyo casino, which had since closed after police raids.
Tago, the world number 63, was also given an indefinite suspension by the Nippon Badminton Association and fired by his club on Monday. Momota received a 30-day suspension from his club, Kyodo said.
The director and manager of the team will lose their jobs and the men’s team will not compete in the next six months, it added.
Momota became the first Japanese to win the Badminton World Federation Super Series Masters Final in December and also landed the Asian nation a first men’s singles world championship medal when he claimed bronze in Jakarta last August.
A tearful Tago begged officials on Friday to allow Momota compete at Rio, confessing to taking his team mate to the casino.
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Patrick Johnston
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