The Japanese Olympic Committee nearly banned one of its Olympic snowboarders from the Winter Games last month.
According to Reuters, JOC officials banned snowboarder Kazuhiro Kokubo from the opening ceremony in Vancouver because of the 21-year-old's "hip-hop" style uniform. In addition, Kokubo was forced to apologize for his outfit at a news conference before finishing eighth in the men's halfpipe.
The dreadlocked snowboarder reportedly arrived at the Olympics with his pants pulled low on his hips, his shirt hanging out and his tie hanging loose. The JOC nearly removed Kokubo from the Games right then because of his sloppy appearance.
JOC secretary general Noriyuki Ichihara feels Kokubo's punishment provides him with a lesson in principles.
"All members of the [Ski Association of Japan] must provide strict guidance to the athletes," Ichihara said. "The JOC will also try to lend its weight to the moral education of the athletes."
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