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Thursday, 11th September 2008
In Sports,

Judo chief quits amid cannabis scandal

The head of the Japan Sumo Association (JSA) has quit his post amid a growing marijuana scandal that has engulfed the sport.

Kitanoumi Toshimitsu, who is also a former martial arts star from the 1970s, stood down after two sumo wrestlers were accused of smoking cannabis.

The revelations come only weeks after the Russian wrestler known as Wakanoho was sacked for possessing the drug.

Following an emergency meeting of the JSA, Mr Toshimitsu commented: "I have troubled the Sumo Association and its fans so I have resigned. I must reflect deeply by myself."

For the first time in the sport's history, the JSA ordered random drug tests in an effort to improve its reputation.

The undertaking backfired, however, when two Russian brothers Roho and Hakurozan tested positive for cannabis, reported the Daily Telegraph.

In 2007, a Mongolian judo Grand Champion was suspended after he missed a training tournament.

Related news stories:
Judo champion retires (2nd May 2008)
Japanese government supports international judo (2nd September 2010)