Sumo

JSA says membership free of coronavirus after tests

KYODO

The Japan Sumo Association said Monday none of its roughly 900 members appear to have the coronavirus following tests on all 45 stables, although five people had antibodies in their bloodstream.

Briefing the media in a teleconference, sumo elder and JSA public relations manager Shibatayama said the data for 44 of the sumo stables had been released.

The one exception was the Takadagawa stable, where an outbreak of the pneumonia-causing virus led to the death of 28-year-old lower-division wrestler Shobushi in May.

Of the 891 members tested, five were positive for antibodies to the virus. Four of them were cleared via polymerase chain reaction or PCR tests. The fifth, who again tested positive, is believed to have been infected in May or earlier before being cured.

The testing program, offered to all members who want it, was introduced following the death of Shobushi, whose real name was Kiyotaka Suetake. He is the only sumo wrestler known to have died from the coronavirus.

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