Naoya Tomita suspended 18 months for camera-stealing incident at Asian Games

Japanese swimmer Naoya Tomita has been hit with an 18-month ban after he was caught stealing a journalist’s camera at the Asian Games.

Tomita took the camera, valued at about $7500, from a South Korean photojournalist at the Asian Games a few weeks ago. He later admitted to stealing the camera and was fined one million won before he could leave the country and return to Japan.

Now, according to Reuters, the Japanese swimming federation has decided to suspend Tomita for the next year and a half, with his ban ending in March of 2016.

That suspension takes the former world champ out of the running for next summer’s Worlds, and would only return his eligibility shortly before Japan’s Trials for the 2016 Olympic Games. Japanese Olympic Trials were held in early April in 2012.

The Japan Olympic Committee settled on the suspension this week, and also handed down stern reprimands to the the chief of Japan’s delegation at the Asian Games along with two other delegation officials.

Leave a Reply

3 Comment threads
5 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
8 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

What? This thread not blowing up from all of the swim fans up in arms over how harsh this penalty is? 18 months and a $1000 fine before he could leave the country for stealing a camera. MPs deal doesn’t sound so bad after all…


Lets put it this way – Who would you rather have in your home a thief or someone who received a DUI?

Kirk Nelson

I guess the Japanese don’t mess around. Seems fair to me. I’ve got zero sympathy for thieves.


I’m just glad they didn’t cut off his hands. Yes, 18 months is harsh but cutting off his hands would’ve completely condemned his entire future in the sport.


U come with a comment assuming cutting hands ( that’s for another culture than the japanese culture of course ) will make that person to learn a lesson ? where do u live man ? certainly not where those barbarian methods are still in activity because u would know it’s absolutely not a smart method ; rather a very unhuman one . Well done , very smart .


Uh, I thinks he’s kidding.

A Chinese

Congratulations to Japanese for such an achievement:

Japan got a lot from this year Asian Games:

Gold: 47
Silver: 76
Bronze: 77
Camera: 1

Total: 201

Congratulate to Tomita for his career achievements:

2010 Asian Games: 1 Gold
2014 Asian Games: 1 Camera


Of course Tomita didn’t take back the camera to Japan as he was immediately arrested.
the Japanese team also kicked him out immediately from the athletes village even before he had a day in court, and he was forced to return to Japan on her own money.
He also already paid the hefty fines to the Korean authority.

As soon as he returned to Japan, the Japanese Swimming slapped him with 18 months ban, and I believe he will stilll face criminal court or something in Japan which means another legal punishment.

Not sure if there’s a rehab for thiefs in Japan, he would have used that to lessen public criticism and Swimming authority sanction.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

Read More »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!