The management company for retired player Kazuhiro Kiyohara on Thursday denied a published allegation that the former slugger had been "hospitalized due to drug use."
Regarding an article in weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun, Kiyohara's side published a statement that said he had been diagnosed with diabetes at the end of January and had been hospitalized from Feb. 27 through March 4 for treatment.
The management company's document said the Shukan Bunshun article had damaged Kiyohara's good name and that, "A thorough protest using every legal means, including litigation, is being considered."
Shukan Bunshun's editorial department commented that it was satisfied with the article.
The 46-year-old Kiyohara hit 525 home runs in his career, the fifth most in Nippon Professional Baseball history.