Sumo Wrestler Accused of Breaking Fellow Wrestler's Skull With Beer Bottle

Paola Ditto
Novembre 15, 2017

Sumo Grand Champion Harumafuji is suspected of assaulting and injuring fellow wrestler Takanoiwa last month by hitting him with a beer bottle, according to a media report.

Harumafuji, who has achieved the top rank of yokozuna, struck a lower ranking wrestler named Takanoiwa in the head with the bottle on October 26, Japanese media report.

Takanoiwa, who belongs to the Takanohana stable and has been absent from the tournament from the first day, submitted to the Japan Sumo Association a doctor's report confirming his injuries, including skull base fracture, that take two weeks to heal completely. Both wrestlers are from Mongolia and the incident reportedly occurred during a party with other Mongolian wrestlers. There has been no confirmation that the head injury and allegation are linked, but officials are investigating. The 27-year-old is part of a so-called "stable" led by Takanohana, a former grand champion who reported the incident to police, according to Kyodo news agency.

He apologised to Takanoiwa and to his stable master (coach).

Weighing in at 300 pounds, Harumafuji is considered a lightweight sumo wrestler, and is lauded for his technique in the ring.

The ancient sport's traditional protocol calls for participants to live up to a strict standard of good behavior.

Wrestlers are expected to not show emotion after a victory and a rigid hierarchy exists. Sumo was rocked by a match-fixing scandal in 2011 and in 2007 a 17-year-old novice wrestler was beaten to death by a stable master and three wrestlers.

In 2016, a stable master and wrestler were made to pay almost $300,000 (£230,000) to a wrestler allegedly abused so badly that he lost sight in one eye, according to reports.

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

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