Slew of wrestlers forced out of sumo

Kyodo News

Stablemaster Tanigawa and nine wrestlers were forced into retirement Friday by the Japan Sumo Association for match-fixing.

Kasugao, Tokusegawa and Mokonami of the top-tier makuuchi division were among the nine wrestlers asked to resign.

Lower-division wrestlers Yamamotoyama, Kyokunankai, Shirononami, Kirinowaka, Sakaizawa and Wakatenro were also pushed out of the tainted national pastime.

The decision was made at an extraordinary board meeting of the JSA after its special investigation panel convened at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo stadium.

Tanigawa said he would take the JSA to court.

“This is absolutely ridiculous,” Tanigawa said. “I told the JSA board that the panel’s investigation was full of holes. I will take legal action. Why wouldn’t I?”

Enatsukasa, another lower-division wrestler, got off with a two-year suspension for his part in the worst scandal to hit the ancient sport. But he said he would retire anyway.

“I want to apologize to sumo fans around the country,” Enatsukasa said. “I’ve caused a lot of problems for the wrestlers who genuinely put in the work, and it hurts.”