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Tanabe to be named women’s judo head coach

Kyodo

Masaru Tanabe, the acting head coach of the Japanese women’s judo team, will be promoted to the job on a full-time basis, the All Japan Judo Federation said Thursday.

The appointment of the 40-year-old Tanabe will be ratified at the federation’s board meeting on Monday.

Tanabe is currently filling in after ex-coach Ryuji Sonoda resigned last month for physically and verbally abusing 15 athletes on the national team.

Earlier this month, Tanabe and two assistants threatened to quit because the AJJF reprimanded them alongside Sonoda, even though they were cleared of any wrongdoing.

The three later changed their mind, after the AJJF said it would lift the reprimands, which is expected to happen sometime this week. The federation itself will face some kind of sanction from the Japanese Olympic Committee next week for its poor handling of the abuse scandal that has plunged judo to unseen depths.