(Reuters) – Four foreign electricians engaged in maintenance work for the Tokyo Olympic Games have been arrested for allegedly using cocaine, the Tokyo metropolitan police said on Tuesday.
The Olympics organizers confirmed that the four are employees of Aggreko Events Services Japan Ltd, which has been contracted for temporary electric power services for Games operations.
The arrests for violating drug laws are likely to be seen as an embarrassment for organizers of the Games, who have already been struggling with public opposition to the event amid fears that an influx of people from overseas would accelerate a spike in the coronavirus pandemic.
Robert Wells, president of Aggreko Events Services Japan, said in a statement that the company is fully cooperating with the police investigations and the four employees have been removed from their current positions.
The suspects, two Americans and two British nationals are in Japan for the Olympic-related works, said an Aggreko representative.
Public broadcaster NHK said the four denied the charges, but their urine showed traces of cocaine.
“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,” the Games organizers said in an emailed statement.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said he hoped the organizers would firmly deal with the incident.
“It’s really regrettable if it’s truly an act that violates the law has been committed,” he told at a media briefing.