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Harumafuji grilled for second time over sumo assault in Tottori

JIJI

The Tottori Prefectural Police put retired yokozuna Harumafuji through a second round of voluntary questioning Saturday in connection with his assault on a lower-ranking sumo wrestler in October.

The second session will be used to make their final confirmation of what happened, before sending their investigative report accusing the Mongolian grappler of inflicting bodily harm to public prosecutors next week, people familiar with the matter said.

The police already have finished questioning the victim, Takanoiwa, 27, and other wrestlers who witnessed the attack, including yokozuna Hakuho and Kakuryu. All of the wrestlers are also Mongolian.

Harumafuji, 33, admitted to the assault during the first round of questioning at Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo hall in Tokyo on Nov. 17.

He submitted his resignation to the Japan Sumo Association on Wednesday to take responsibility for the incident; permission to retire was granted immediately.

The police suspect Harumafuji of hitting Takanoiwa several times on the head, including with a karaoke remote control, during a drinking party in Tottori between late Oct. 25 and early Oct. 26 during a regional sumo tour. They suspect he got angry after seeing Takanoiwa use his smartphone while Hakuho was scolding the junior wrestler.

At his retirement news conference, Harumafuji said he went too far with the attack, but also noted that it is the duty of senior wrestlers to discipline junior wrestlers.