Japan Wrestling Federation Apologizes To Icho

Japan Wrestling Federation apologizes to Icho

NHK has learned that the head of the Japan Wrestling Federation has apologized to 4-time Olympic champion Kaori Icho over a power harassment scandal, clearing the way for her preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Sources say federation president Tomiaki Fukuda met Icho in Tokyo last week and apologized directly for the first time since the scandal was revealed.

Icho reportedly accepted the apology, and said that she will compete in the national open championships in October.

Fukuda responded that he fully supports her return to competition.

Icho had not appeared in competitions since winning her 4th consecutive gold medal in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She had also kept silent about the scandal and her wrestling career going forward.

The federation's third-party panel determined in April that Kazuhito Sakae, who was in charge of the national team's training, had engaged in power harassment against Icho. The panel reported that Sakae abused Icho verbally and barred her from international competitions for no reason. The report led to Sakae's resignation.

Icho plans to train with a collegiate team in Tokyo to prepare for the October tournament. She aims to win the all Japan championships in December, which will decide the national team members for the World championships.