December 7, 2018
Tokyo--Sumo wrestler Takanoiwa plans to retire to take responsibility for his assault on a lower-ranked stablemate, it was learned Friday.
Takanoiwa, 28, a rank-and-file maegashira wrestler in the highest sumo division of makuuchi, was the victim of a separate assault by then yokozuna sumo grand champion Harumafuji in October last year. The former champion left the sumo world to take the blame for the violence.
Takanoiwa and Harumafuji are both from Mongolia.
Takanoiwa assaulted the stablemate, his attendant at the Chiganoura stable, at a hotel in Fukuoka Prefecture, southwestern Japan, on Tuesday during a regional tour, according to the Japan Sumo Association.
The association said Takanoiwa hit the attendant on the cheek and other parts four to five times with his open hand and fist, as he was angered by the excuses the junior wrestler made about why he forgot to bring something.
The attendant told the association that Takanoiwa's explanations about the assault were true.
Takanoiwa pulled out of the regional tour after the incident came to light. The association was poised to take disciplinary action against Takanoiwa based on interviews on him and the assault victim.
Since the sumo world was rocked by Harumafuji's incident, the association has been taking preventive steps, holding workshops for wrestlers to enhance their awareness about the need to stop violence, for example.
Takanoiwa made his debut as a professional sumo wrestler in 2009 and was promoted to the highest division in 2014. Jiji Press
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