Former komusubi Futeno announced his retirement as a sumo wrestler Wednesday, saying the cancelation of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in March made it difficult to stay motivated.
The tournament was canceled in early February after police discovered a number of cellphone text messages implying bouts had been thrown.
“I just couldn’t move on after the spring meet was canceled,” said the 30-year-old, who had dropped to the third-tier makushita division.
Futeno made his pro debut in January 2003 and earned promotion to the top-level makuuchi division a year later.
In his first tournament at sumo’s fourth-highest rank of komusubi, Futeno upset then-yokozuna Asashoryu at the autumn basho in 2005.
He won the Fighting Spirit Prize and the Technique Prize once each in his career.
Futeno was suspended from competing at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament in July 2010 due to his involvement in illegal gambling on baseball.