Skip to main content

Nittai University Marijuana Investigation Uncovers Counterfeit Money

http://www.nikkansports.com/general/news/p-gn-tp0-20090327-475908.html

translated by Brett Larner

On Mar. 26 the Kanagawa Prefectural Police announced that a search of track and field training facilities at Nihon Taiku [Nittai] University in Yokohama's Aoba Ward on Mar. 2 as part of an investigation of suspected marijuana violations had uncovered a cache of counterfeit money. Police are investigating the origin of the counterfeit bills. Nittai University's men's ekiden team have won the Hakone Ekiden nine times, and the school counts among its alumni world-class marathoners Hiromi Taniguchi and Yuko Arimori.

Kanagawa Prefectural Police officers found three types of counterfeit bills in denominations of 1000, 5000 and 10000 yen along with incomplete one-sided bills. The bills appeared to have been produced using a color photocopier but will be subject to a detailed examination. Police are questioning the residents of the room in which the money was discovered to find out more details of their production and planned use.

The counterfeit bills were found Mar. 2 during a search of a room in Nittai University's training facilities occupied by a third-year pole vaulter on the school's track and field team on suspicion of violations of Japan's marijuana restriction laws. The bills were found among the belongings of the student's roommate, a second-year triple jumper. An assistant coach with the school's team turned the bills, sealed in a plastic bag, over to Kanagawa Prefectural Police officials. Nittai University president Takushiro Ochiai told police, "[The second-year student] said, 'I didn't mean to do anything bad,' and, 'It was just for fun.'"

The third-year student who was the subject of the original investigation has been expelled from the university but not arrested. Searches of his room have not yielded his supply of marijuana. Police did discover stalks from four marijuana plants and an apparent smoking apparatus but have not yet located the smokable portion of the plants necessary to charge the student with a crime under Japanese law.

Along with the pole-vaulter's expulsion, track and field director Takashi Ishii, head coach Masahiko Mizuno and assistant coach Fumiaki Kobayashi resigned their positions on Mar. 5 to take responsibility for the failure of their leadership. The entire track and field team was suspended for 5 days, and the 46 members of the pole vaulting and triple jump squads have been suspended indefinitely. The second-year student accused of counterfeiting money has likewise been suspended from the university pending the outcome of the investigation.

Nittai University owns 31 training facilities outside the main campus. 863 student athletes make use of the facilities. In response to the current situation, the university will now allow coaches to enter and search students' rooms in the training facilities without permission. An official with the university commented, "It's possible that we were too lax in the past." From now on the university will keep a vigilant eye over its students' activities.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Daniel and Kawauchi Win Saitama International Marathon

After missing a medal by 3 seconds at August's London World Championships, defending champ Flomena Cheyech Daniel (Kenya) made it two in a row as she won a tight battle against Shitaye Habtegebrel (Bahrain) to win the Saitama International Marathon in 2:28:39.

With the onus on Japanese women Reia Iwada (Dome) and Kaori Yoshida (Team RxL) to break 2:29:00 in order to qualify for Japan's new-format 2020 Olympic trials race, the pair of them did most of the heavy lifting for the first two-thirds of the race. Yoshida led the early kilometers before Iwade took over, and through strong head and tailwinds, over rolling hills and around sharp turns Iwade kept things moving just under target pace, shaking the pack down to just her, Daniel, Habtegebrel and relative unknown Bekelech Daba (Ethiopia) by 15 km.

Little changed up front until after the lead group hit the start of the hilliest 10 km on the course after 25 km. For the first time Iwade slipped to the rear of the pack, and on a …

Ekiden Weekend Roundup

Ekiden season is in full swing, and across the country it was another busy weekend. Although there were four major ekidens nationwide, the best action came as runners from high school to the pros tuned up for the string of national championship ekiden races stretching from the end of this month to mid-January. At Kanagawa's Nittai University Time Trials meet, two-time steeplechase junior world champion Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu) pipped 5000 m junior world championships bronze medalist William Malel (Honda) at the line in the 10000 m A-heat, winning in 27:22.73 to Malel's 27:22.79. Four other Kenyans including Ndiku's junior teammate Richard Kimunyan broke 28 minutes as their coaches eye who to run at the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden.



Evans Yego of the tiny Sunbelx supermarket team won the more conservative 5000 m A-heat in 13:48.04, a race most notable for high schoolers Luka Musembi (Sendai Ikuei H.S.), Masato Suzuki (Suijo H.S.) and Reito Hanzawa (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) …

Breaking Down the Best-Ever Japanese Marathon Times By Country

Japanese marathoners these days have the reputation of rarely racing abroad, and of rarely racing well when they do. Back in the day that wasn't true; Japanese marathoners have won all the World Marathon Majors-to-be except New York, and two of the three Japanese men to have run 2:06 and all three women to have run 2:19 did it outside Japan. Whatever the extent to which things did turn inward along the way, the last few years have seen an uptick in Japanese runners going farther afield and running better there than any others before them.

The lists above and below show the fastest times run by Japanese athletes in different countries to 2:20:00 for men and 2:45:00 for women. Japanese men have run sub-2:20 marathons in 37 countries around the world including Japan, with Japanese women having cleared 2:45 in 33 countries including at home. Breaking it down by IAAF label times, more Japanese men have run label standard times abroad, but women have typically performed at a higher label…