Japan rugby rocked by 'sex scandal'
NEWS: Japanese club Red Dolphins suspended operations after a media report alleged players stripped, groped waitresses and smashed glasses at a bar.
The team based in the west of Tokyo has withdrawn from a match on Saturday in Japan’s second division.
“Media have published articles regarding the Red Dolphins scandal,” the club said in a brief statement.
“In response, [we] will suspend activities indefinitely, effective today [Friday],” it added.
“We sincerely apologise for causing significant inconvenience and concern,” the statement said, without detailing the allegations or responding to the claims.
A report this week in the Bunshun tabloid alleged dozens of “drunken players took off their clothes, groped female waitresses, destroyed glasses and equipment” at a bar in southwestern Japan’s Oita.
The weekly magazine said the players then told an angry employee they were from a different club in an attempt to avoid punishment.
The bar later demanded ¥3-million (US$23,000), and after receiving it, demanded another three million, at which point the players involved hired lawyers.
The scandal is not the first time the club has found itself in hot water over the behaviour of its players.
In 2020, a player from New Zealand was arrested over suspected cocaine use, prompting the Japan Rugby Football Union to scrap three rounds of matches and promise to “thoroughly educate” teams on drug laws.