Japan Rugby Top League 2020 Notice of Suspension for Thoroughgoing Commitment to compliance

Following the arrest of a player of the Hino Red Dolphins on suspicion of illicit drug use, the club has made the decision to refrain from their activities for an indefinite period of time. In light of the decision, the Japan Rugby Top League has decided to cancel the three rounds –Round 9 on March 14-15, Round 7 on March 21-22 and Round 10 on March 28-29 of its currently ongoing 2020 season, to conduct thorough compliance education,

Japan Rugby Top League Chairman, Osamu Ota said;

It is extremely regrettable that a player of the Hino Red Dolphins, which are currently taking part in the Japan Rugby Top League on suspicion of illicit drug use and we would like to extend our deepest apologies to all spectators who were looking forward to attend the matches, all related parties to the league, as well as all rugby fans across the country for causing a situation that could betray their expectations.

Resulting in more than one arrests associated with illicit drug in different clubs within the same year is a serious issue which undermines not only the Top Leagues but also Japan rugby itself and we take it as extraordinary circumstances. While we have been working together with all Top League clubs to make our sincere efforts to prevent similar misdeeds by appointing Integrity Officers in each club and so on, we have to admit that it has turned out insufficient. We deem it necessary to seriously work on to fully restore the trust of our fans and society and take further measures more than ever. Rugby’s unique ethos is built around five core values – Integrity, Passion, Solidarity, Discipline and Respect. IF any of these are lacking, it will not be rugby. This arrest is what conflicts with the large part of the core values. To make our Top League deserved as the pinnacle league in Japan, we believe that we can resume the 2020 season only after the further pursuit of integrity is promoted in each club and it is proved that the league regains its health.

Matches to be cancelled:      24 matches in Round 9 on March 14-15, Round 7 on March 21-22 and Round 10 on March 28-29. There will be no substitute matches.

*Information on ticket refund will be announced once confirmed.

*Changes in the match points due to the suspension will be announced once confirmed.