The Seibu Lions held a press conference at their offices in Tokorozawa today to announce that they suspended nineteen-year-old pitcher Makoto Aiuchi for underage smoking and drinking. The suspension will last for six months. His punishment will also likely include a strict curfew and a ban from wearing the team uniform. He is scheduled to attend spring camp, but will likely be assigned to separate workouts with the Ni-gun players.
According to Nikkan Sports, the Lions received an anonymous tip about Aiuchi having a drink via their website on the 14th. When team officials asked the nineteen-year-old about the reported incident, he said it was true and added that he drank alcohol on a number of different occasions with friends in Tokyo in November and December last year. He also admitted to smoking.
This is not the first time Aiuchi has run into problems. He was caught driving without an appropriate license and speeding after he was drafted by Seibu in 2012. His probation, set by the Kisarazu Family Court, ended on September 2 last year.
[UPDATE 1/24 @ 3:18pm]
Aiuchi worked out at Seibu 2 Stadium on Thursday. He also spoke to the media and issued an apology to fans for letting them down.
Source: Daily Sports 1/24/2014