Advisory panel withholds decision on Harumafuji

Advisory panel withholds decision on Harumafuji

Advisors to the Japan Sumo Association have withheld a decision on punishment for Yokozuna Grand Champion Harumafuji for his violence against a rank-and-file wrestler.

The yokozuna deliberation council met on Monday evening, one day after the year's last competition closed.

Sumo Association Chairman Hakkaku is thought to have briefed the council members on the October 25th incident and its ongoing investigation by the association crisis management panel.

The head of the council, Masato Kitamura, later told reporters that violence by a grand champion is subject to punishment. He said some council members did call for strict punishment.

But he said the council decided to put on hold its judgment as police and the crisis management panel are still investigating the matter.

Kitamura said no decision should be made before details and facts are confirmed.

He said that when the crisis management panel completes its investigations, the council will meet again to receive its report.

Harumafuji has admitted to assaulting Takanoiwa at a lounge bar in Tottori City, western Japan. Both are Mongolians. Two other grand champions, Hakuho and Kakuryu, were among the Mongolian wrestlers drinking and eating together at the time. The incident happened during a local tour of the Sumo Association.