Sumo, the still massively popular Japanese sport, can't seem to get rid of a number of scandals plaguing it. The latest one: a top-ranked referee has been accused of sexually harassing a teenager during a winter tournament.
In another embarrassing admission, the Japan Sumo Association admitted to the facts on Friday when stating that 58-year-old Shikimori Inosuke had molested a junior referee by kissing him several times and touching his chest. It was claimed Mr Inosuke was heavily intoxicated at the time. The events seem to have taken place on 16 December 2017, during the first day of the regional tourney in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture.
(Just as sumo wrestlers, the referees also must rise up the ladder before they are allowed to decide the big matches. The referee given the title of Shikimori Inosuke is the one who usually oversees the final matches of any given day that involve the Yokozuna, the sumo champions.)
JSA chairman Hakkaku expressed his regret over this latest incident which mires the association in another scandal, stating: "It is truly regrettable that a tategyoji who is in a position supervising others has done a thing like that."
<a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/11841-Sumo-Hit-By-Bottle-Assault-Scandal#11857"> The news comes at a difficult time for the sport, just a month after their champion Harumafuji retired from the sport after being accused of attacking a fellow wrestler during a drunken night out</a>.
The Mongolian multiple time champion Harumafuji had at first publicly apologised for hitting his junior colleague but when this did not prove enough for his stable to regain their honour, <a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/12921-Sumo-Legend-Yokozuna-Harumafuji-Retires-Under-Pressure-of-Police-Investigation">he had no other choice left and decided to retire from the sport, pressured by the pending police investigation</a>.