Japan sumo authority fires stable master, senior wrestler



Japan sumo authority fires stable master, senior wrestler 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 the association.

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" crime syndicates.

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 summer tournament.

The biggest scandal to tarnish Japan's ancient national sport in years has already led big-name sponsors to withdraw funding.

Bureau Report