A Japanese swimmer has been kicked out of the Asian Games and will have to pay his own way back home after being charged by police for stealing a camera from a South Korean journalist.
Naoya Tomita, a gold medallist from Guangzhou in 2010 but outside the medals in Incheon, had been captured by video surveillance putting the 8 million won ($7,600) camera into his bag at the Games swimming venue on Friday.
Japan delegation chief Tsuyoshi Aoki apologised for Tomita’s behaviour on behalf of the team at a news conference on Saturday.
Incheon police told Reuters the athlete had been booked without detention and barred from leaving the country.
“After we received a report, we analysed CCTV and could see that it was a Japanese athlete, but to confirm it we went to see the Japanese team leader and showed him the clip,” police told Reuters by telephone.
Police located the athlete cheering on his team mates and spoke to him in a private interview.
“He admitted it right away,” police said. “The case will be dealt with by the prosecutor’s office next week.”
Japanese Olympic Committee official Naoya Yanagiya said Tomita had been expelled from the team and would have to pay his own way back to Japan.
“His name has been stricken from Japan’s team and once the decision is made in the investigation, we will take the next step,” Kyodo news quoted Yanagiya as saying.