Tokyo: Japan`s sumo authority fired a stable
master and a high-ranking wrestler mired in an
illegal gambling scandal that exposed the ancient sport`s ties
to organised crime, reports said on Sunday.
An executive meeting of the Japan Sumo Association in the
central Japanese city of Nagoya formalised its decision to
fire stablemaster Otake, 42, and wrestler Kotomitsuki, 34,
according to local media.
Kotomitsuki, ranked second only to the "yokozuna" grand
champions, became the first senior wrestler to be dismissed by
Dismissal is an effective expulsion as it prevents Otake
and Kotomitsuki from ever returning to the sport.
The two were dismissed for taking part in illegal
gambling on baseball, an alleged funding source for "yakuza"
The sumo association will hold the Nagoya Grand Sumo
Tournament scheduled to begin on July 11 although it is still
in doubt whether public broadcaster NHK will broadcast the
The biggest scandal to tarnish Japan`s ancient national
sport in years has already led big-name sponsors to withdraw