• The Associated Press

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Struggling grand champion Musashimaru will sit out the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament, officials from the Musashigawa stable said Thursday.

Samoan-born Musashimaru, who pulled out of July’s Nagoya tournament after suffering three straight losses, missed the previous three tournaments while recovering from surgery on his left wrist.

The 32-year-old is one of the sumo’s most successful foreign-born wrestlers. Following fellow Hawaiian Akebono, he was second to reach the ancient sport’s highest rank, and has won 12 Emperor’s Cups, more than any other wrestler currently in the ring.

But Musashimaru has been unable to return to form since undergoing surgery on his wrist in November and Thursday’s announcement has fueled speculation about his retirement. The 15-day Autumn tourney begins on Sept. 7 at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.

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