Tuesday, 6th July 2010
Sumo wrestler fired over illegal gambling
One of Japan's top sumo wrestlers has been sacked after the uncovering of an illegal sport gambling ring.
Senior wrestler Kotomitsuki, 34, is the first top player to be kicked out of the sport and was fired alongside stablemaster Otake. The dismissals follow reports that more than 60 members of the sumo wrestling community have been betting on other sports including mah-jong, games of cards and baseball.
Illegal gambling such as this has strong ties to the criminal underworld and the yakuza and is thought to provide funding for such groups.
Pictures published by AFP showed Kotomitsuki and Otake arriving at a hotel in Tokyo to meet with representatives from the Japan Sumo Association. The wrestler was dressed in the traditional robes of the sport.
Kotomitsuki hails from Aichi and was born on April 11th 1976. He weights almost 160 kilograms and according to sport website Sumo Goo, favours the migi yotsu move when taking on competitors.
Written by Mark Smith.
Related news stories:
Sumo star warned over drug injections (9th November 2011)
Pilot shows there's life after sumo (16th October 2008)
Top Japan sumo wrestler retires (6th October 2008)
Yokozuna Asashoryu suffers first-day sumo defeat (12th May 2008)
Former sumo star sports police badge (13th September 2011)