Following allegations of drug use by South Korean media, iKON's leader B.I shocked fans on Wednesday (June 12) with the sudden announcement that he's withdrawing from the K-pop group.
In his Instagram post, he also apologised to his fans and the other members of the band.
Media outlet Dispatch reported that B.I, also known as Kim Han Bin, had attempted to purchase marijuana and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) sometime in 2016.
The publication also claimed that police did not call him in for investigations although they were aware of his actions.
In addition, Dispatch released chat transcripts dated April 2016 that purportedly showed the singer's conversations with a drug dealer, known only as 'A'.
Dispatch claimed that B.I told A about his marijuana use and tried to purchase 1,500,000 won (S$1,730) worth of LSD. His reason for wanting to try the hallucinogenic drug? Because he wanted to "become a genius".
iKON is signed under YG Entertainment, which has been rocked by several drug scandals in the past. G-Dragon of BigBang was caught smoking marijuana in 2011 while fellow BigBang member T.O.P was involved in a marijuana scandal in 2017.
Allkpop reported that a YG Entertainment official had earlier denied B.I's drug use allegations in a phone interview with 'Dispatch' on June 12, saying that the agency carried out tests on all artists every two months and that he had tested negative for drug use.
FANS IN DISBELIEF
Following reports of B.I's alleged drug use, iKON's fans took to Twitter to express their shock and sorrow.
CURRENT ACTIVITIES IN LIMBO
B.I is currently part of the lineup of two variety shows - SBS' Law of the Jungle Thailand and JTBC's Grand Buda-Guest. Representatives for both programmes have confirmed that his appearance will be removed from the shows.
YG Entertainment has confirmed that B.I will leave iKON. His contract with the company will also be terminated.
The company said in their statement, "We bow our heads and apologise for disappointing everyone with our artist Kim Han Bin's problem.
"Kim Han Bin is feeling heavy responsibility due to the impact of this matter. Taking the matter seriously, he has decided to leave the team and terminate his exclusive contract."
"YG has become keenly aware of our responsibility for managing our agency artists."
"Once again we sincerely apologise for causing concern."