• Japan ace Momota ‘regrets betrayal’ as possible Rio ban looms


    TOKYO: Olympic badminton medal hope Kento Momota made a somber apology on Friday after jeopardizing his place at this summer’s Rio Games by visiting an illegal casino.

    The 21-year-old world No.2, who last August became the first Japanese man to win a world championship medal with a bronze in Jakarta, and fellow offender Kenichi Tago face being booted off the Olympic team by the country’s ruling body. Japanese officials are set to hold an emergency board meeting this weekend to decide what action to take after the pair’s team, NTT East Japan, confirmed the players placed bets at an underground casino which was raided by police last year. Nippon Badminton Association Secretary General Kinji Zeniya burst into tears on television on Thursday and promised harsh sanctions, insisting it was “probably impossible” for the players to represent Japan in Rio.


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