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The Japan Sumo Association said Saturday a total of 28 wrestlers, all from outside the top two divisions, will miss the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament starting this weekend after a pair of coaches tested positive for the coronavirus.

All of the wrestlers are from the Yamahibiki and Onoe stables, whose respective elders, Onogawa and Otowayama, returned positive tests on Thursday.

The wrestlers, ranked in the third-tier makushita division or below, tested negative for the virus but will sit out the entire 15-day meet opening Sunday at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.

The JSA carried out polymerase chain reaction tests on all wrestlers and staff ahead of the tournament to ensure it can be hosted safely in the capital, which remains under a state of emergency to curb the spread of the virus.

The same tests were administered before the New Year meet in January, leading to the withdrawal of a total of 65 wrestlers from four stables for virus-related reasons.

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