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Sumo champion accused of assaulting wrestler with beer bottle


A sumo wrestling grand champion is under fire after allegedly hitting a fellow wrestler over the head with a beer bottle. 

Mongolian "yokozuna", or grand champion, Harumafuji, reportedly struck the alleged victim, Takanoiwa, last month when the two got drinks after an autumn tournament, AFP reports.

Harumafuji also issued an apology to Japanese media.

"As for Takanoiwa's injuries, I apologize deeply for causing trouble for stable master Takanohana, people affiliated with Takanohana stable, the Sumo Association and my stable master," Harumafuji said.


Mongolian sumo grand champion Harumafuji issued an apology to Japanese media after he allegedly hit a fellow wrestler over the head with a beer bottle.


Takanoiwa's stable master submitted a doctor's certificate regarding a head injury that would take two weeks to heal. There has been no confirmation that the head injury and allegation are linked, but officials are investigating.

Sumo wrestling is a sport where wrestlers are expected to be "beyond moral reproach in addition to showing superior strength and technique in the ring," according to AFP.

However, the sport is no stranger to scandal.

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In 2007, a trainee sumo wrestler died after being bullied and subjected to violent initiation rites. A stable master was sentenced to five years in jail for negligence resulting in death after striking the teen with a beer bottle.

Three years later in 2010, the sport was rocked by more controversy when Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu retired after being accused of breaking a man's nose in a drunken brawl outside a Tokyo nightclub, AFP reports.

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