TOKYO -- Sumo wrestler Takanoiwa beat a lower-ranked wrestler attending to him, the Japan Sumo Association (JSA) announced on Dec. 5.
The 28-year-old grappler, who holds a middle maegashira rank in sumo's top makuuchi division, admitted to JSA officials that he punched and hit the 24-year-old attendant four or five times on the night of Dec. 4 in the city of Yukuhashi in the southern Japan prefecture of Fukuoka, where they were staying for a winter tour.
The association decided to suspend Takanoiwa from the tour and consider punitive measures against him.
Takanoiwa, who used to belong to the now-defunct Takanohana stable, was a victim in an assault case last year in which yokozuna (grand champion) Harumafuji hit him in the head, forcing him to stay out of two tournaments due to injuries.
(Japanese original by Taro Iiyama, Sports News Department)