The Japan Sumo Association has decided to file a defamation suit against the publisher of a weekly magazine that recently reported Asashoryu has been fixing matches, sumo officials said Sunday.
The association will discuss with stable masters on Tuesday what course of action to take after the Mongolian grand champion and other sumo wrestlers mentioned in the Shukan Gendai weekly’s report all denied the claims.
The report quoted a wrestler as saying Asashoryu, who won his 20th Emperor’s Cup last month, pays money to others wrestlers to lose so he can win titles. Kodansha Ltd. publishes the weekly magazine.
“I want to consult with attorneys after talks with stable masters,” JSA Chairman Kitanoumi said. “We can’t keep our mouth shut anymore.”
The bout-rigging allegations centered on last November’s Kyushu tournament, in which Asashoryu won all 15 bouts for his 19th title.
“What is written is not true, so we want to say what should be said,” Asashoryu’s stable elder Takasago said.