Tokyo, June 9 (IANS) World No. 2 shuttler Kento Momota was axed by Japan’s badminton team for the Rio Olympics after he gambled at an illegal casino, according to local officials.
The 21-year-old, having admitted visiting a casino six times and gambling away around 6,200 US dollars, was removed by the Nippon Badminton Association from the name list for Rio after an emergency meeting, reports Xinhua.
His team-mate Kenichi Tago, also found guilty of placing illegal bets, was forbidden to play.
Momota was the first Japanese player who won the Super Series Masters Finals in Dubai last December. He was an Olympic medal hopeful and his absence in Rio will be a blow to Japan’s medals pursuit.