Four electricians engaged in maintenance works for the Tokyo Olympics have been arrested for allegedly using cocaine, a spokesperson for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police said as the Japanese capital counts down to the Jul 23 opening ceremony.
Tokyo 2020 said that they had been informed “that four individuals have been arrested for alleged violations of the Narcotics and Psychotropics Control Law”.
It said that the four were employees of a firm contracted by Tokyo 2020 to supply temporary electricity for Games operations.
Tokyo police confirmed that they had arrested two United States and two British citizens earlier this month on allegations of having “ingested cocaine” in violation of drug laws. They did not specify the date of the arrest.
Public broadcaster NHK said the four workers were drinking at a bar in Tokyo’s Roppongi district earlier this month when one of them allegedly broke into an apartment after leaving the bar, which led police to question him and administer the subsequent urine tests.
“Should the allegations turn out to be true, Tokyo 2020 will issue a strict warning to the company and advise them to take all possible measures to ensure that such an incident does not happen again,” organizers said in a statement.
The International Olympic Committee said that the arrests were “an individual issue and a question for the local justice authorities”.
Japan’s drug laws are relatively strict, with arrests common for possession of any quantity, and drug use by public figures is the subject of intense media interest.
With the Games less than two weeks away, local attention is hyperfocused on the thousands of athletes, media and support staff arriving from abroad.
They are subject to strict rules including limits on their movement that are intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Tokyo is currently under a virus state of emergency, with bars and restaurants banned from selling alcohol and required to close by 8pm.