Sumo champ bashes fellow wrestler with beer bottle

Getty Images

Getty Images

Mongolian sumo grand champion Harumafuji issued an apology to Japanese media after he allegedly hit a fellow wrestler over the head with a beer bottle.

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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, No. 8 in the top-tier makuuchi division, was admitted to a hospital in the city of Fukuoka from November 5 to 9. Both wrestlers are from Mongolia and the incident reportedly occurred during a party with other Mongolian wrestlers.

Sumo association officials told AFP news agency that exactly what happened remains unconfirmed.

The incident was reported to police but it was unclear if the champion would be charged.

The grand champion apologised publicly but did not confirm the circumstances of the incident.

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"As for Takanoiwa's injuries, I apologize deeply for causing trouble for stable master Takanohana, people affiliated with Takanohana stable, the Sumo Association and my stable master", he told reporters.

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

Fighters are even expected not to show emotion after victories so as not to be inconsiderate to the losers.

That case exposed a culture of bullying and hazing within the ancient sport's strict hierarchy.

Three years later in 2010, the sport was rocked by more controversy when Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu retired after being accused of breaking a man's nose in a drunken brawl outside a Tokyo nightclub, AFP reports.

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