October 1, 2014 / 4:48 AM / in 3 years

Tomita still in Korea after paying fine for stealing camera

INCHEON South Korea (Reuters) - Japanese swimmer Naoya Tomita remains in South Korea despite being cleared to return home after paying a fine for stealing a camera at the Asian Games.

Japan's Naoya Tomita starts the men's 200m breaststroke final at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, November 18, 2010. REUTERS/David Gray/Files

Tomita was expelled from the Games and told he had to pay his own way home after he admitted to stealing a camera valued at 8 million won ($7,600) from a journalist working for a South Korean news agency.

He was initially told he had to stay in South Korea until the case was resolved but was cleared to leave after being issued with a summary indictment and paying a fine of 1 million won.

Games organisers told a news conference on Wednesday that Tomita had not gone home yet and was now staying with the Japanese Olympic Committee in Incheon.

“He has been asked to leave the athlete’s village, but still staying in South Korea under JOC’s surveillance,” said Park Dal-hwa the organisers’ director of press relations. “He has not left the country yet.”

Team officials have already told him he can expect further punishment when he gets back to Japan. The Asian Games finish on Saturday.

A former world champion, Tomita won a gold medal in breaststroke at the last Asian Games in 2010 but failed to win any medals this time.

He was caught on closed circuit television stealing the camera after the journalist reported his gear missing.

Reporting by Julian Linden; Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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