translated and edited by Brett Larner (updated 4/15)
In the wake of a scandal involving a now-expelled pole vaulter's alleged marijuana use at one of its training facilities, the Nihon Taiku (Nittai) University track and field team announced on Apr. 11 that the entire team will undergo suspension from competition through the end of the month. The team will miss several important competitions as a result, including its long-distance squad's home meet which was scheduled for Apr. 18 and 19.
Nittai University has kept the 46 members of the alleged perpetrator's pole vault and jump squad on indefinite suspension. The rest of the track and field team was suspended from Mar. 3-5 immediately following the original incident, but with the new academic year beginning in April those in power decided upon re-examination of the details to extend the entire team's suspension until the end of April. The university will also dismantle some of the pole vault and jump squad's training facilities. All track and field team members will be required to perform community service by cleaning up garbage in the neighborhood around the school's campus and to attend drug use-prevention seminars. Nittai University has voluntarily submitted the revised details to the Kanto University Track and Field Association to show that it understands the seriousness of the situation.
Nearly simultaneously with the announcement, Beijing Olympics three-time world record setter and gold medalist sprinter Usain Bolt of Jamaica admitted in an interview with a German publication that he had smoked marijuana in his younger days. Although he denied smoking marijuana now or associating with those who do, Bolt told a reporter, "In Jamaica you learn as a child how to roll a joint. Everyone here has tried it. I did too, but I was real young then."
Translator's note: The top three members of Nittai Univ.'s track and field coaching staff resigned in March to take responsibility for the marijuana incident. Despite everything that has happened, the student athlete in question was never arrested or charged with a crime as police were unable to uncover proof of his alleged use after they conducted an extensive search of his residence.