Viewers were left confused when Channel Nine advised that Tuesday night’s episode of Ninja Warrior Australia vs The World had been edited for legal reasons.
The following disclaimer appeared on screen at the start of the broadcast: ‘Due to current legal proceedings in the U.S. the following program has been edited.’
The legal proceedings concern American Ninja Warrior winner Andrew ‘Drew’ Drechsel, who was arrested earlier this month on child sex crime charges, including luring an underage girl for sex and manufacturing child pornography.
The U.S. broadcaster of Ninja Warrior, NBC, has also decided to remove scenes featuring Drechsel from an episode set to air on Monday, September 7.
NBC expressed shock over the allegations, saying in a statement: ‘We are shocked and disturbed to learn about the charges alleged against Drew Drechsel.
‘American Ninja Warrior is a family show that has inspired countless people, and we will not let the actions of one contestant tarnish the hard work and amazing stories of so many.
‘Moving forward, the American Ninja Warrior brand will sever all ties with Mr Drechsel, including his appearance on future seasons of the show.’
Nine said in a statement on Wednesday: ‘Due to legal proceedings currently involving one of the members of Team USA, Channel Nine has made the decision not to show his run in tonight’s episode of Ninja Warrior Australia vs The World.’
Drechsel, 31, was arrested at his home in St. Cloud, Florida, on August 5, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of New Jersey announced.
He apparently met the alleged victim in 2015, when he was 26, at an American Ninja Warrior contestant event, where they exchanged numbers.
Drechsel is said to have arranged for the girl to visit his gym, the Real Life Ninja Academy, in Hamden, Connecticut, in July 2015 as a present for her 15th birthday.
The pair exchanged text messages about ‘plans for sexual activity’ in the lead-up to her visit, legal documents obtained by DailyMail.com detail.
During her visit to the gym, Drechsel and the girl reportedly became intimate inside his office after his girlfriend, April Beckner, had left the premises.
The girl claimed that they had sex several more times between the time she was 15 and 17 years old, according to the complaint.
Drechsel’s lawyer, Frank Riccio, has said that his client plans to plead not guilty to all charges.
‘Mr. Drechsel is presumed innocent of the charges, and that presumption will remain throughout the pendency of his case,’ Riccio tweeted.
‘He intends on entering a “not guilty” plea. It is respectfully requested that you respect the privacy of Mr. Drechsel and his family.’
Drechsel and his girlfriend, April Beckner, welcomed their first child together, a baby boy, in December last year.