Sumo Association Rejects Takanohana's Accusation

Sumo Association rejects Takanohana's accusation

The Japan Sumo Association has rejected an accusation by stablemaster Takanohana over its handling of an assault case involving one of his wrestlers.

The association's public relations chief, Shibatayama, spoke to reporters after Takanohana submitted a letter of resignation on Tuesday. Shibatayama said the stablemaster handed in a notice of retirement, but he needs to submit an official letter of resignation.

Takanohana and the association have been at odds since the former yokozuna grand champion filed a complaint at the Cabinet Office about the assault on a wrestler in his stable.

In October last year, the lower-ranked Takanoiwa was beaten during a drinking session by Harumafuji, who was a yokozuna at the time and has since retired.

Takanohana said the association sent him a letter in August and concluded that reasons for submitting the complaint were not based on fact.

He said the association asked him to acknowledge that his complaint was baseless as a condition for him to become a member of one of the 5 groups of stables.

Shibatayama rejected Takanohana's claim that the association had refused to allow him to join a group.

The PR chief said the association decided that all stablemasters must join one of the groups because it wants to make its finances more transparent.