Sumo taken off air in gambling scandal
Wednesday 07 July 2010
For the first time since it began televising sumo tournaments 57 years ago, Japan's public broadcasting network has decided not to screen the upcoming competition live because of an illegal gambling scandal.
The decision underscored anger among the ancient sport's fans over the behaviour of coaches and wrestlers who are accused of gambling heavily on baseball, sometimes with gangsters as middlemen.
NHK, which has broadcast each of the six annual tournaments since 1953, said the scandal generated a flood of complaints from viewers, with most saying that they did not want the 15-day competition that begins on Sunday to be aired. Instead of its usual live broadcasts of the top divisions, NHK will show a delayed, abbreviated version.
The scandal has captured Japanese headlines and topped news broadcasts for weeks. On Sunday, the Japan Sumo Association banned a leading wrestler Kotomitsuki and his coach, Otake, and its chairman agreed to temporarily step down.
Responding to media allegations, Kotomitsuki, 34, who holds the sport's second-highest rank, revealed last month that he bet on professional baseball. Otake, who is a former wrestler, acknowledged running up betting debts of more than £30,000.
An internal survey by the JSA last month found at least 65 of its members had been involved in illegal gambling. Police are investigating, and one arrest has been made.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 1 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 2 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 3 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country
Ian Thorpe gay: Olympic swimmer comes out in Parkinson interview
Death in the Valley of the Dolls: Heroin overdose turns the spotlight on prostitution boom in California's tech industry
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Woman, 61, jailed for seven years after drink-drive death of cyclist
Gaza-Israel conflict: Pro-Palestinian demonstrators take to streets of London, Paris and New York in wave of protests
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£50000 - £67000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# R&D .NE...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Payment Dev...