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Steven Yates second Toyota Verblitz player accused of possessing cocaine

AICHI (TR) – Aichi Prefectural Police on Thursday arrested Steven Yates, a member of rugby union team Toyota Verblitz, over the alleged possession of cocaine, the second such arrest of a player for the team this month, reports NHK (June 27).

According to police, Yates, a native of New Zealand, was found with a small amount of cocaine at his residence in Nagoya’s Meito Ward at just past noon.

“I fully knew that possession [of cocaine] was illegal,” Yates, 35, was quoted by police in admitting to the allegations.

Steven Yates
Steven Yates (Twitter)

Police also seized the smartphone of Yates. They will be examining it to determine where he obtained the contraband.

Earlier this month, police arrested Ryota Kabashima, 28, for allegedly possessing 1 gram of cocaine — valued at around 20,000 yen — while inside a taxi in Toyota City on April 4. Kabashima denied the allegations upon his arrest, police said previously.

Toyota Verblitz is owned by Toyota Motor Co. The company issued an apology for the two arrests on Thursday. “We are very sorry for any concern and inconvenience [that may have been caused] at a time that is extremely important for sports in Japan, [specifically] the upcoming Rugby World Cup [later this year] and the Olympic Games in Tokyo [next year].”