The scandal-weary Japan Sumo Association on Thursday received from an independent panel studying organizational reform of the association its final report which recommends half of the JSA’s executive board be appointed from outside the sumo world.
The panel, formed in the wake of last year’s scandal involving wrestlers illegally betting on baseball, in its report said in order to reflect opinions from people from various backgrounds, the board along with five or six JSA members should include two from judicial circles, two from academic and or sports fields, plus one member for clerical duties.
The report, presented to the association’s executive board, also acknowledged that the head of the board should be a former wrestler but that stable masters would be unsuitable for positions on the executive committee.
The panel said it would not allow monetary transactions in the trading of ‘‘toshiyori meiseki’’—the right for a wrestler after retiring to remain with the JSA as a management official or stable master, although it would acknowledge recommendations for title holder changes. The title is known to have been traded for hefty fees.
It recommended that the number of sumo stables be reduced from 50 to 30 and that the JSA should refer to other professional sports and make clearly defined contracts with wrestlers from the second-tier juryo division and above.
Some panel members had reportedly been looking to delay the release of the report in the wake of a match-fixing mess that has plunged sumo into its biggest ever crisis.
But panel chairman Takayasu Okushima, president of the Japan High School Baseball Federation, said, ‘‘It’s (because of the match-fixing scandal) that we had to present this report quickly.’’