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Wednesday, 2nd February 2011
In Sports,

Sumo match-fixing row flares

Police in Japan claim they have found evidence of match-fixing on sumo wrestlers' mobile phones.

The ancient sport has had its reputation damaged in recent months as allegations of illegal gambling emerge.

Media reports in Japan suggest that text messages have been found in which wrestlers discuss the previous moves they will use to attack and fall.

It is thought that the country's Sumo Association is holding an emergency meeting to discuss the latest state of affairs.

"We are examining the situation," the association's chairman, Hanaregoma, was quoted by the Guardian newspaper as saying.

The scandal first came to light last year after police began investigating claims of gambling on baseball games by sumo wrestlers using middlemen.

It is a major blow for the national sport because, although match-fixing itself is not illegal, sumo wrestlers are expected to maintain highly dignified behaviour outside the ring and strong sportsmanship within in.

Written by Mark Smith 

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