A Japanese swimmer accused of stealing a camera during the Asian Games in South Korea in September denied the allegations on Thursday, saying an unidentified male forcefully put it in his bag.
Naoya Tomita, 25, was expelled from Japan’s swimming team on Sept. 27 following investigations over a missing camera at the Incheon games. He paid a fine of one million won ($923) to resolve the case after being indicted by South Korean authorities.
Mr. Tomita said he admitted the theft to the South Korean police, but he described that as a false confession stemming from fears that the investigation would be prolonged and he wouldn’t be able to return to Japan.
“I did not steal the camera,” the swimmer said at a news conference in Nagoya on Thursday. “I should have kept a strong will and told them that I didn’t do it, but I was weak,” he said. “I apologize for causing all the trouble.”