Sumo match-fixing scandal grows

Two sumo wrestlers battling it out in Las Vegas in 2005. This year, Japan's sumo Grand Tournament has been cancelled, following allegations that up to 40 wrestlers were involved in match-fixing. [Getty Images]
PHOTO

Two sumo wrestlers battling it out in Las Vegas in 2005. This year, Japan's sumo Grand Tournament has been cancelled, following allegations that up to 40 wrestlers were involved in match-fixing. [Getty Images]

Mark Willacy, North Asia Correspondent

Last Updated: Thu, 3 Mar 2011 10:58:00 +1100

A match-fixing scandal in the traditional Japanese sport of sumo is spreading, with a former wrestler alleging up to 40 of his colleagues have been involved in rigging bouts.

Last month, allegations that 14 sumo wrestlers were fixing bouts surfaced, when police discovered incriminating messages on their mobile phones.

Several have now admitted that they traded wins with other wrestlers to avoid a drop in their ranking as well as the accompanying salary cut.

Now one of the accused, the recently-retired Takenawa, has told a Japanese newspaper that up to 40 wrestlers were involved in fixing matches.

The scandal has led to the cancellation of this month's Grand Tournament, for the first time in 65 years.

    Features

    News programs on Australia Network

    News programs on Radio Australia

    ABC News