Tue, Jul 10, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Magazine taken to court after reports claim sumo bribery

AP , TOKYOAP, NAGOYA, JAPAN

Mongolian grand champion Hakuho, right, pushes his opponent Tokitenku out of the ring to win their bout on Sunday, the first day of the 15-day Nagoya Grand Sumo tournament in Nagoya, Japan. At right is chief referee Shonosuke Kimura.

PHOTO: AP/KYODO NEWS

Mongolia's Asashoryu and other sumo wrestlers have filed a criminal complaint over magazine articles that claimed Asashoryu paid opponents to lose in last November's tournament, officials said yesterday.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office on Thursday accepted the complaint, which was filed by four wrestlers including Asashoryu as well as the Japan Sumo Association against the publisher and editor-in-chief of the weekly magazine Shukan Gendai and the writer of a series of articles, the association said in a statement released yesterday.

Asashoryu, whose real name is Dolgorsuren Dagvadorj, is a sumo grand champion, the sport's highest rank. He was the sport's sole grand champion until fellow Mongolian Hakuho was promoted to the top rank in May.

Earlier this year, the Shukan Gendai published a series of articles alleging that Asashoryu paid off his opponents to let him win November's tournament, when the Mongolian scored a rare perfect 15-0 record to claim his 19th career title.

The association, which supervises professional sumo wrestling, conducted an investigation, said it found no wrongdoing, and lodged a defamation suit against the publisher of the top-selling magazine.

"We came to the conclusion that to restore honor of the association, chairman and wrestlers, we find it is necessary to seek not only redress in a civil suit, but also criminal punishments," the statement said.

Hakuho swats down Dejima

Mongolian Hakuho overpowered Dejima yesterday to remain undefeated after the first two days of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

Grand champion Hakuho barely broke a sweat in the day's final bout at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium when he knocked Dejima off balance at the faceoff and swatted the No. 2 maegashira down to improve to 2-0. Dejima dropped to 1-1.

Hakuho was promoted to grand champion in May, becoming the fourth non-Japanese to reach sumo's highest rank.

In other major bouts, grand champion Asashoryu bounced back from Sunday's upset when he got both hands on the belt of Wakanosato and calmly lifted the No. 2 maegashira out over the ridge to give both wrestlers a record of 1-1.

Asashoryu is gunning for his 21st Emperor's Cup.

Bulgarian Kotooshu bounced back from Sunday's loss when he deployed a textbook arm throw to send komusubi Tokitenku sprawling to the dirt surface. Both wrestlers stand at 1-1.

Top maegashira Asasekiryu forced Kaio to the edge and forced the ozeki out to pick up his first win.

This story has been viewed 1702 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top