• Kyodo News


The Japan Sumo Association said on Sunday it will consider freezing the salaries of sumo elder Takenawa and juryo-division wrestlers Chiyohakuho and Kiyoseumi, each of whom have been incriminated in schemes to rig bouts.

The JSA, which originally had decided it would continue paying the three in a board meeting last Wednesday, said it will now consider suspending their pay at an emergency board meeting scheduled for Monday evening at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Takenawa, whose ring name was Kasuganishiki, Chiyohakuho and lower-tier grappler Enatsukasa have all confessed to match fixing. Kiyoseumi has been implicated in phone text messages he sent to Kasuganishiki. Wrestlers in the lower ranks below juryo do not receive a salary.

“I think we should question whether to pay those who wreaked such havoc on the sumo association. It sets a bad precedent for other wrestlers who are working very hard,” one JSA official was quoted by a sumo source as saying.

A special panel investigating the recent match-fixing scandal will present a report at Monday night’s meeting.

The panel is scheduled to meet earlier on Monday morning to discuss the outcome of last week’s probe of 92 people, including the 14 implicated in the biggest scandal in sumo history, and consider the next steps in its investigation.

There were no new admissions of match fixing among those questioned in the top two divisions of makuuchi and juryo.

Monday’s report to the JSA by the investigative panel is not likely to be the last.

The JSA board also appears unlikely to touch on what kind of punishments Chiyohakuho and the others who have admitted involvement in schemes to rig bouts will receive.

Next month’s Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka has been called off due to the scandal.

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