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Tuesday, 5th April 2011
In Japan Sports News, Sports,

Three top sumo wrestlers retire over match fixing claims

A major match fixing scandal has led to three premier division sumo wrestlers handing in their retirement papers, it has been reported.

The Associated Press said that Kotokasuga, Kasugao and Mokonami have all submitted their resignations to the Japan Sumo Association (JSA).

All three were professional wrestlers in the Makuuchi division, but had their careers thrown into doubt after they were implicated in a match-fixing scandal earlier this year.

The JSA board said last week that it would aim to expel 23 wrestlers through voluntary retirement.

Stablemaster Takenawa and lower division wrestlers Chiyohakuho and Enatsukasa got off with two-year suspensions after admitting their involvement, but all three are expected to retire voluntarily.

The match-fixing scandal surfaced in February, when police investigating illegal gambling on professional baseball matches discovered a number of text messages that suggested sumo bouts had been rigged.

Stablemaster Tanigawa, as well as several other wrestlers have been given until today (April 5th) to voluntarily tender their resignations or face being forced into retirement.

Written by Mark Smith