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Paralympian from Georgia arrested over assault at Tokyo hotel

  • August 16, 2021
  • , Kyodo News , 9:59 p.m.
  • English Press

TOKYO – A top Paralympic athlete from Georgia was arrested Monday for allegedly assaulting a security guard at a Tokyo hotel last week, police said Monday.

 

The man arrested is Zviad Gogotchuri, who won a gold medal in the men’s judo 90-kilogram division at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics, the police said.

 

The 34-year-old judoka was set to compete in the sport’s 100-kg division at the Paralympics starting next week. He is accused of breaking a rib of the security guard in his 60s around 8:20 a.m. on Thursday when jumping on top of him and grabbing his neck.

 

The incident took place after a different security guard warned Gogotchuri and several other Georgian athletes about noise they were making while apparently drinking in the corridor of the hotel’s sixth floor, according to the police.

 

Gogotchuri was quarantining at the hotel after a member of the country’s team tested positive for COVID-19, the police said.

 

They said the judoka admitted to his action, quoting him as saying, “I have no excuse.”

 

The Tokyo police launched an investigation into the case after the guard who was injured filed a complaint with them on Saturday.

 

Gogotchuri is expected to be ejected from the Paralympics and return home, according to an official of the games’ organizing committee.

 

During the Olympics, two male judoka from Georgia were also stripped of accreditation for leaving the athletes village to go sightseeing in violation of COVID-19 protocols.

 

The Paralympics, involving up to 4,400 athletes from around the world, are due to begin Aug. 24. As was the case with the Olympics, which ended earlier this month, the Paralympics will be held mostly behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

“It is very regrettable that such action was taken by a Paralympian,” Toshiro Muto, CEO of the organizing committee of the Olympics and Paralympics, said at a press conference, held after a meeting to decide on spectator policy.

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