Japanese judo champ arrested for sexual assault

Last Updated: Dec 06, 2011, 15:18 PM IST

Tokyo: Two-time Olympic judo gold medalist Masato Uchishiba was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of sexually assaulting a teenage girl at a Tokyo hotel, Japanese police officials said.

The arrest of Uchishiba, who won gold in the 66-kilogram class at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, triggered a criminal investigation, according to an officer at the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Agency`s public relations department who declined to give his name.

Uchishiba, 33, denied the charge, saying the sex was by mutual consent, a police official said.

Uchishiba was fired as a judo coach by Kyushu University of Nursing and Social Welfare amid allegations that he gave a female student an alcoholic drink at a hotel and sexually harassed her. He has denied the claims.

Uchishiba announced his retirement from competition in October 2010 and became a visiting professor at the university in January.

Haruki Uemura, chief of the All-Japan Judo Federation, told a media conference that the arrest was unfortunate and that this sort of thing shouldn`t happen to an Olympic gold medalist, a federation official said.