Wednesday, 7th July 2010
Japan TV removes sumo wrestling from schedule
Japanese state television has said it will not show an upcoming sumo wrestling tournament, following a high-profile scandal which saw a top player and coach fired.
Earlier this week, the Japan Sumo Association dismissed senior wrestler Kotomitsuki and his coach Otake after the pair were embroiled in a betting scandal involving putting money on other sports, including card games, baseball and mah-jong.
Such betting is though to be a main source of income for the Japanese criminal underworld - the yakuza - and many other players and coaches in the sumo wrestling sector have also been implicated, although no more have been fired.
An internal report conducted by the Japanese Sumo Association suggested at least 65 of its members could be involved with illegal gambling.
The Associated Press noted that the new scandal has "deepened concerns that the sport has closer ties to gangsters than officials are willing to admit".
Written by Mark Smith.
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