Tokyo: Former World No. 2 Kento Momota will have his suspension for illegal gambling lifted next Monday, May 15th. However, there is no guarantee that he will be automatically qualify for the Japanese national badminton team.
Momota was suspended by Nippon Badminton Association (NBA) last May after he admitted to spending time in casinos with another badminton player, 27-year-old Kenichi Tago. The association had banned Momota from playing “indefinitely”, while Tago was deregistered by the association—a more severe punishment due to his more gambling habit.
The Association has then decided to lift Momota’s suspension on March 12th, 2017.
Momota’s earliest return to competition could be at a ranking tournament in Japan on May 27th. He has resumed practicing after serving a 30-day ban from his club team NTT East, while also taking part in rehabilitation programs that involved community service.
Momota, who was Japan’s medal hopeful for the Rio Olympics before he was suspended. He will try to accumulate his ranking points through participating in Japanese National Championships, and will try to make the Japanese National Team at the end of 2017.