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Japan Sumo Association slams Takanohana's TV comments on assault case

In this file photo taken on Dec. 28, 2017, stablemaster Takanohana leaves his stable in Koto Ward, Tokyo. (Mainichi)

The Japan Sumo Association (JSA) stated on Feb. 11 that its crisis management panel's findings over ex-yokozuna Harumafuji's assault on wrestler Takanoiwa, announced in 2017, are accurate -- dismissing a different account of events by the victim's stablemaster Takanohana.

"What happened is exactly as the panel announced on three occasions (between November and December 2017). We consider comments that differ to the acknowledged truth to be factually inaccurate," the JSA said in a written statement released on Feb. 11.

Appearing in a TV program aired on Feb. 7, the stablemaster stressed that there were discrepancies between the panel's probe findings and an account of the incident that he had heard directly from his disciple and victim, Takanoiwa.

Specifically, the probe found that Takanoiwa got caught up in an argument with some other customers at a restaurant in Tokyo in September 2017 and became aggressive. As a result, yokozuna Hakuho decided to lecture Takanoiwa about the Tokyo incident at a bar in Tottori Prefecture, in October 2017, according to the probe.

However, the stablemaster emphasized that "there were no problems" concerning Takanoiwa's behavior in September. Takanohana also opposes the probe findings stating that the victim was partly to blame for being assaulted by the former yokozuna.

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