Former NRL star Blake Ferguson has been sacked by Japanese club NEC Green Rockets, following his arrest over the weekend.
Japanese media reported that Ferguson, who left Australia to pursue a rugby union career after being denied a new contract at Parramatta, was taken to the Azabu police station after allegedly assaulting a man at a restaurant in Tokyo.
According to reports, a police search of Ferguson found cocaine on his person.
Ferguson’s new club, Japan Top League team NEC Green Rockets, released a statement confirming the news.
“Blake Ferguson, a contract player belonging to NEC Green Rockets Tokatsu, was arrested on December 30 on suspicion of possessing illegal drugs,” the club said.
“We deeply apologise for causing a great deal of concern and inconvenience to everyone involved.
“Our team fully cooperates with the police investigation and strives to understand the situation.”
They have since confirmed that Ferguson’s contract has been torn up, before a single game for the club.
The Japanese Top League is due to kick off on January 7.
The 31-year old, who played 249 games across a 13-year career with Cronulla, Canberra, Sydney and the Eels, was signed by the Green Rockets by former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, the club’s director of rugby.
Ferguson has stated a desire to stake a claim for a Wallabies berth in years to come.
Japanese rugby famously suspended the Top League competition during 2021 after a number of players were charged with drug-related offences. The country has a zero tolerance policy towards illicit substances.
The Top League has been rebranded as Japan League One for the 2022 season, and now features three divisions with promotion and relegation at stake. Ferguson’s Green Rockets are part of the inaugural Division One.