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Ex-NRL star Ferguson arrested in Japan

Former Australian rugby league international Blake Ferguson has been arrested by Japanese police after allegedly being caught in possession of illegal drugs.

According to local media, police were called to a restaurant in the Roppongi area of Tokyo on Thursday after 31-year-old Ferguson was involved in an altercation with another patron.

The winger, who left Parramatta at the end of the 2021 NRL season to try his hand in Japanese club rugby union, was then searched at Azabu police station and allegedly found with the drugs – reportedly cocaine.

The 31-year-old, who won a premiership with the Roosters in 2018, signed with NEC Green Rockets, where former Wallabies mentor Michael Cheika is coaching director.

The club’s domestic season in the newly-renamed League One begins on January 8 against the Yokohama Canon Eagles.

But, following the arrest and given that drugs possession is viewed seriously in Japan, Ferguson’s future in the 15-man game is now in severe doubt.

The Green Rockets confirmed they were aware of Ferguson’s arrest in a statement and said they were assisting police with their inquiries.

“Blake Ferguson, a contract player belonging to NEC Green Rockets Tokatsu, was arrested on December 30 on suspicion of possessing illegal drugs,” the club said.

“We deeply apologise for causing a great deal of concern and inconvenience to everyone involved.

“Our team fully cooperates with the police investigation and strives to understand the situation.”

New Zealander Joel Everson served 23 days in a Japanese prison in 2020 after testing positive for the use of cocaine while playing for Hino Red Dolphins.

In a mark of how seriously rugby officials took the matter, all matches in the then Top League were suspended for three weeks after Everson’s arrest and the Red Dolphins cancelled all their remaining fixtures for the season.

with Reuters

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