TOKYO - Sumo champion Kotomitsuki was booted out of Japan's ancient sport yesterday as part of a clampdown on illegal baseball gambling.
The Japan Sumo Association decided to fire the 34-year-old "ozeki" after a probe into a gambling racket with alleged links to Japanese crime syndicates.
Kotomitsuki is the first ozeki - sumo's second-highest rank after "yokozuna" - to suffer the humiliation of being sacked. Last month a former wrestler was arrested on suspicion of extorting $39890 from Kotomitsuki.
Kotomitsuki alleged it was "hush money" and the furore has even promoted the JDA to consider pulling the plug on the grand sumo event in Nagoya which begins on July 11. - Reuters