Japan's shuttler Kento Momota axed from Rio Olympics over illegal gambling

Apr 11, 2016 10:10 IST

World number two shuttler Kento Momota of Japan was axed from Japan’s badminton team for the 2016 Rio Olympics. He was axed for gambling at an illegal casino.

The Nippon Badminton Association banned 21-year-old Momota from competition indefinitely, after an emergency meeting to decide the player's fate.

Momota became the first Japanese man to win a world championship medal with a bronze in Jakarta in August 2015 and had been tipped to challenge for the title in Rio Olympics. Momota's absence in Rio will be a major blow to Japan's medal hopes.

Apart from Momota, the association also removed his team-mate Kenichi Tago from the organisation’s official player list for an indefinite period. He was found guilty of placing illegal bets.

Gambling is largely illegal in Japan.

The Rio Olympic Games commence will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 5 August to 21 August 2016.

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