Takanoiwa Retires After Assaulting Stablemate

The wrestler who was at the center of Harumafuji’s retirement in 2017, has also announced his retirement under similar circumstances last week.

Mongolian wrestler Takanoiwa submitted his resignation to the Japan Sumo Association on Friday, following his assault of a younger wrestler earlier last week.

Takanoiwa struck his Chiganoura stablemate at their hotel in Fukuoka during the current regional tour. While no major injuries were suffered by the younger wrestler, he had swelling on his face from at least four strikes with an open hand and a closed fist.

“By raising my hand to my younger stablemate, I have caused anguish. I will reflect on this and take responsibility by retiring from sumo as of today,” Takanoiwa said in a news conference.

The JSA’s director Shibatayama made it clear on Friday that the governing body will continue to address violence outside of the ring.

“The association has been working for a long time on a solution to the problem of violence,” Shibatayama said. “It is important to respond promptly and to make sure it does not happen again.”

Takanoiwa made his sumo debut in January 2009 as a member of the stable of former yokozuna Takanohana, and gained promotion to the top makuuchi division in 2014.

The Mongolian, whose real name is Adiyagiin Baasandorj, was the victim of violence himself in October of 2017, when fellow Mongolian Harumafuji beat him with a karaoke remote. The attack and hospitalization of Takanoiwa would lead to not only his sitting out for five months, but also the forced retirement of Harumafuji.

A civil suit brought by Takanoiwa was dropped in November, claiming his family in Mongolia has been subject to abuse from their neighbors and fellow Mongolians, who view Harumafuji as a hero.

Initial Report: Japan Times

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