April 07, 2016

TOKYO (AP) A Japanese badminton player has admitted to gambling at an illegal casino, damaging his chances of competing at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Kento Momota gambled at a Tokyo casino which was raided by police last May and has since closed, Kyodo news reported Thursday.

Momota, who is second in the world rankings, became the first Japanese man to win a medal in a world badminton championships singles competition when he took bronze in Jakarta last August.

Nippon Badminton Association secretary general Kinji Zeniya said it would be ''unable to nominate'' Momota to compete at the Olympics.

Gamblers can face up to three years in prison for betting at casinos, which are illegal in Japan.

Momota and teammate Kenichi Tago, who has also admitted to gambling at the same venue, will hold a news conference on Friday.

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