Just spreading their wings or scandalous behaviour?

Good morning everyone,

It's looking like it's going to be mostly cloudy today and for the next few days with the typhoon passing off to the west. We may get some rain-including a chance of heavy showers-so be careful.

The Japanese Olympic Committee has penalized four players on the men's Asian Games basketball team for buying sex in Jakarta and sent them home, a senior official said Monday, in the latest in a spate of scandals as the country gears up for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The B-League players -- Yuya Nagayoshi, 27, Takuya Hashimoto, 23, Takuma Sato, 23, and Keita Imamura, 22, who were clad in black suits later attended a press conference in Tokyo and admitted their wrongdoing. "Because of our thoughtless behavior, we have caused tremendous trouble. We are taking a hard look at what we have done," Nagayoshi said.

The four players left the athletes' village after 10 p.m. on Thursday to have dinner, and later that night they "paid for the services of prostitutes," said Yamashita, who led a record-high 762-athlete delegation to the Asian Games, the world's biggest multi-sport event after the Olympics. Following the team's 82-71 preliminary round win over Qatar, the players first went to a Japanese restaurant in a major entertainment district, called "Block M" in the city, wearing their team uniforms, according to the JOC and the Japan Basketball Association. After dinner and drinking, they left and were approached by several local women on the street. Japanese men, who happened to be there and who could speak Indonesian, acted as go-betweens in their negotiations, according to the association.

After paying 1.2 million Indonesian rupiah ($82) each, they took the women to a nearby hotel and did not return to the village by taxi until around 2:30 a.m. Friday. "There were actions that violated the national team's code of conduct...and it betrayed the expectations of Japanese citizens," Yamashita said. "As the chief of the delegation, it is very regrettable and I deeply apologize from the bottom my heart."

In the wake of the scandal, the Japanese Olympic Committee convened an emergency meeting early Monday to bring together national team coaches. They were ordered to ensure that this kind of misconduct never happens again. Yamashita quoted one of the players, who all flew back to Japan at their own expense, as saying the group wore their uniforms as required when they left the village as they initially intended to just have dinner. The remaining eight players on the Japanese basketball team will continue to participate in the tournament running through Sept. 1. There will be no replacements for the four departed players.

The JOC's rules stipulate that athletes must follow the national team's code of conduct when competing in multi-sport events.The code says athletes should keep in mind that they have to act as "society's role models" even when they are not competing since they are financed by taxpayers.

What do you think? Was the punishment too severe? Not severe enough? I think that the Japan sports associations are especially sensitive to scandal with all the sports scandals in the papers recently.

Have a great day!


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