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Nelson takes bullet after airport arrest

Dominican pitcher Maximo Nelson has been banned for three months after being arrested by Japanese police for having a live bullet in his bag at an airport, his Chunichi Dragons club revealed yesterday.

Nelson, once on the New York Yankees' books, was detained at Naha airport in Okinawa for breaching Japan's gun and sword control laws before boarding a flight to Nagoya following spring training.

The Dragons said the 27-year-old would be unable to rejoin his team-mates until the end of May and would be unable to play for the club's reserve teams until completing his ban.

Nelson was signed by the Yankees in 2000 and was a highly rated prospect before being named by the New York Times as one of dozens of Dominican Republic natives caught up in a marriage scheme to fraudulently win US visas for women.