• Kyodo News

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A special panel investigating sumo match-fixing held a hearing Thursday with Kobo, an attendant of grand champion Hakuho, following a magazine report indicating he has acted as a go-between in fixing bouts by wrestlers in the yokozuna and ozeki ranks.

Kobo, who appears to be the first person to have been questioned by the panel besides the 92 people earlier subject to the recent probe, denied any involvement in match-fixing, according to Japan Sumo Association officials.

The hearing at a Tokyo hotel lasted about an hour.

The weekly magazine Shukan Shincho quoted a sumo source as saying an active wrestler of his class is not supposed to be close to ozeki in the hierarchy-based sumo world, but he is because of his go-between role.

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