Sumō Champion Harumafuji Retires over Assault Case (News)


Dazaifu, Fukuoka Pref., Nov. 29 (Jiji Press)—Yokozuna sumō grand champion Harumafuji submitted a letter of retirement to the Japan Sumō Association on Wednesday to take responsibility for assaulting a junior wrestler.

Harumafuji (right) bows in apology at a press conference in Dazaifu, Fukuoka Prefecture, on November 29, 2017. Next to him, Isegahama stable master Asahifuji Seiya wipes away tears. (© Jiji)

The 33-year-old Mongolian yokozuna has told police and the association that he beat and injured Takanoiwa, another Mongolian wrestler, at a drinking party in the city of Tottori, western Japan, during a sumō tour in late October.

At a press conference in Dazaifu, Fukuoka Prefecture, on Wednesday, Harumafuji said, "I feel responsible as a yokozuna for injuring Takanoiwa and I'm retiring as of today."

"I'm truly sorry from the bottom of my heart for bringing inconvenience to the people who have supported me, and I did what a yokozuna should not have done," he said.

It is the first retirement of a yokozuna since Asashōryu, a Mongolian, was forced to end his sumō career in February 2010 after assaulting an acquaintance.

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