Perske arrest 'damaged Japan tour'
An Australian golfer's arrest for suspected cocaine possession has seriously damaged the integrity of Japan's professional tour, a senior official told Reuters.
Wayne Perske was taken into custody last week after being found with 1.25 grams of cocaine while at a bar in Chiba, east of Tokyo, after missing the cut at a JGTO Tour event.
"The news has damaged and depressed everyone," JGTO executive director Andy Yamanaka told Reuters on Tuesday.
"He has been one of our (tour) members for several years and won a tournament. It's a very disappointing situation for the fans and sponsors.
"We've made huge efforts to get the tour to where it is now with great young stars like Ryo Ishikawa but this has damaged the image and integrity of the game."
The JGTO has already sent a memo to some 200 players, including teenage sensation Ishikawa, warning them about their behaviour after being embarrassed by Perske's shock arrest.
"We're still trying to investigate exactly what happened," said Yamanaka. "He is still being detained and only his lawyer is able to talk to him."
Yamanaka refused to be drawn on whether journeyman Perske, whose sole win came in 2006, would be booted off the JGTO Tour.
"We have been discussing what fine or sanctions to impose," he said. "Clearly we have to avoid this happening again. To be caught carrying drugs is a big crime here.
"But I can't say yet what the punishment will be until we have all the details."
JGTO president Tadashi Koizumi has described Perske's arrest as "extremely embarrassing" and promised to throw the book at the 36-year-old.
Yamanaka insisted the JGTO would implement measures to ensure no other golfers made the same mistakes.
"We have to educate not just the young players but all our members," he said. "They are role models. We know we have to do something to find a solution."