Japan Rugby Top League Suspended
JRFU has suspended the Japan Rugby Top League for the remainder of March due to recent drug allegations. The announcement came following the arrest of a player at Hino Red Dolphins for alleged illegal drug use.
Top League drug busts
According to a report from Kyodo News, “the league said it would use the break to conduct ‘thorough compliance education’ with clubs after Hino’s New Zealand-born forward Joel Everson was arrested last Wednesday for cocaine use.” His club has already cancelled their remaining games for this season.
In 2019, two Toyota Verblitz players were arrested on drugs charges. As a result, the club suspended their Top League team’s operations and halted their participation in the Top League Cup with all their games forfeited.
Steven Yates was handed two years in prison, suspended for three years for his arrest. Ryota Kabashima was also arrested and sentenced to 14 months in prison, suspended for three years.
On the back of the latest arrest, the Japan Top League said “We sincerely apologize to fans for the disappointment caused. We had been working on preventative measures together with all the Top League teams, but it was insufficient. As a result, we have betrayed our fans and society, and we must work diligently to restore trust.”
In a statement, they added “Rugby competition consists of five core values: dignity, passion, unity, discipline, and respect. If any one of these is missing, it’s not rugby. This incident conflicts with most of the core values and in order to become a league worthy of the name of Japan’s peak, we will again pursue improvement in each team’s integrity before we resume Top League 2020.”
A rugby player of the Nihon University rugby team was arrested in January 2020 on suspicion of cannabis possession.
Japan Top League 2020 disruptions
The Japan Top League 2020 played six rounds before being postponed due to the coronavirus. The league was due to commence again this week Saturday before the latest suspension came into play.
The All-Japan Rugby Championship 2020 was due to take place in May, but it’s unclear if it will go ahead.
Asian rugby news
- The Global Rapid Rugby 2020 season features 6 teams.
- Japans international rugby fixtures in 2020.
- HK hosts Women and Girls Rugby Conference 2020.
- Women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series 2020.