Blake Ferguson had his Japanese rugby contract broken without playing a match after the former NRL star was arrested on suspicion of possession of illegal drugs.
- Ferguson was arrested in Tokyo on December 30 and was allegedly found with cocaine after being searched by police.
- A statement on the NEC Green Rockets Tokatsu website says that Ferguson’s contract was canceled on January 2.
- His former team was due to start their season against Yokohama on January 8.
According to local media, police were called to a restaurant in Tokyo’s Roppongi area on Thursday after Ferguson, 31, was involved in an altercation with another customer.
The winger, who left Parramatta at the end of the 2021 NRL season to try his hand at the Japanese club rugby union, was searched at the Azabu police station and allegedly found with the drugs, allegedly cocaine.
The 31-year-old, who won a prime ministerial position with the Roosters in 2018, signed with the NEC Green Rockets, where former Wallabies mentor Michael Cheika is director of coaching.
The club’s domestic season in the newly renamed League One begins on January 8 against the Yokohama Canon Eagles.
But Ferguson will not be there, the club confirmed in a brief statement updated on Monday that Ferguson’s contract had been canceled on January 2.
It is not the first time that a player in the Japanese competition has been fired for drug-related matters.
New Zealander Joel Everson served 23 days in a Japanese prison in 2020 after testing positive for cocaine use while playing for the Hino Red Dolphins.
In a display of the seriousness with which rugby officials took the matter, all then Top League games were suspended for three weeks after Everson’s arrest and the Red Dolphins canceled all remaining games for the season.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is reportedly providing consular assistance to Ferguson.