The arrest of Wakakirin, a sumo wrestler in the juryo division, on suspicion of possessing cannabis and his subsequent dismissal by the Japan Sumo Association should be a great disappointment to many sumo fans.

The incident has further tarnished the image of the JSA, which is suffering from a series of scandals. The beating death in June 2007 of a teenage wrestler led to the indictment and the JSA’s dismissal of the victim’s stablemaster and three stablemates. Since then, cannabis-related incidents have led to the dismissal of three wrestlers from Russia — Wakanoho, who was arrested last August, and then Roho and Hakurozan, who tested positive in simplified urine tests that the JSA conducted in September.

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