Rugby: Kiwi Joel Everson arrested on suspicion of for cocaine use in Japan

Joel Everson currently plays for the Hino Red Dolphins in the Japan Top League.
Joel Everson currently plays for the Hino Red Dolphins in the Japan Top League. Photo credit: Photosport

Kiwi rugby player Joel Everson has been arrested in Japan on suspicion of using cocaine.

According to a police report, Everson - who currently plays for Hino Red Dolphins in the Japan Top League - was arrested after officers saw him walking and behaving in an unusual manner about 4:30am Wednesday in the central Tokyo district of Roppongi.

The 29-year-old, who previously played for Canterbury and Southland in New Zealand's domestic competition, was forced to give police a urine sample where he tested positive for the class-A drug. 

Joel Everson played for the Crusaders against England in 2014.
Joel Everson played for the Crusaders against England in 2014. Photo credit: Photosport

"I am very sorry the Japan Rugby Top League Hino Red Dolphins player has been arrested for allegedly using illegal drugs," Japanese Rugby Football Union president Shigetaka Mori said.

"We have an integrity officer to take charge of compliance among the 16 Top League teams and deal with issues of integrity. We have communicated the importance of compliance, but regret such a problem has occurred again."

The Red Dolphins have since announced they will cancel their remaining games for the season.

The Red Dolphins had nine games remaining on their schedule, although no Top League club has played since February 23 in an effort to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

"A member of the Hino Motors Rugby Club [Hino Red Dolphins] was arrested on March 4 for allegedly using illegal drugs," a statement read on the club's website. 

"We deeply apologise for being arrested for a serious violation of law. In addition, we deeply apologise to the fans who support Hino Red Dolphins on a daily basis, and to the many stakeholders who support us, for causing great inconvenience."

Former All Blacks halfback Augustine Pulu is also contracted at the Dolphins.

Last year, former NZ sevens player Steven Yates was one of two Toyota Verblitz players arrested for cocaine possession.