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Friday, 11th February 2011
In Sports,

Sumo match-fixing 'nothing new'

Match-fixing has been around for sometime within the sport of sumo, claims an ex-wrestler.

Kyodo News reports that an unnamed retired fighter believes that such deals were commonplace around three decades ago and that the recent scandals to hit the sport are not unexpected.

The wrester, who is in his 50s, explained that he was approached 30 years ago to deliberately lose a fight by fighters looking to reach the peak of their sumo career.

"If the top wrestler in a group of stables was shooting for promotion to yokozuna, everyone from that group lined up for him. This was an unspoken agreement. Deals were made in toilets and dressing rooms among attendants and hairdressers," he said.

He added that the pressure exists on today's wrestlers as they try to maintain their careers for as long as possible and this means they can be tempted to consider match-fixing.

Earlier this month, a number of sumo wrestlers admitted being involved in match-fixing following investigations into illegal gambling activities.

Written by Susan Ballion.

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)