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Friday, 22nd August 2008
In General Japan News,

Wakanoho expelled from JSA for cannabis find

A sumo wrestler who was arrested on suspicion of possessing cannabis is to be expelled by the Japan Sumo Association (JSA).

Wakanoho was accused of the offence after his wallet, containing a Russian-made cannabis cigarette, was found on a Tokyo street.

The wrestler's stablemaster, Magaki, has also submitted his resignation to the JSA.

Following the decision to expel Wakanoho, JSA chairman Kitanoumi said the action had been taken as the wrestler had admitted to the misdemeanour.

The incident is yet another blow for the sport of sumo which has been mired in scandals relating to wrestlers and stablemasters, reports the Japan Times.

Last October, stablemaster Tokitsukaze was dismissed after fatally beating a 17-year-old wrestler.

JSA director Isenoumi commented that all sumo stables needed to ensure their wrestlers were "educated about returning to the origins of sumo - beginning and ending with respect".

The JSA regulates all participants in sumo including rikishi (active wrestlers), gyoji (referees) and yobidashi (announcers).