Mongolian yokozuna (grand champion) of professional sumo Harumafuji D.Byambadorj has announced his retirement from sumo over scandals of assault on a fellow Mongolian wrestler, Takanoiwa A.Baasandorj.
According to sources, the 33-year-old Harumafuji has reportedly admitted to assaulting Takanoiwa A.Baasandorj during a night of drinking at a bar on October 26. The retirement announcement was made on November 29, during a press conference held in Fukuoka, Japan.
“Today, I retired because I feel responsible for having injured Takanoiwa. I have done what yokozuna should not have done,” Harumafuji said during the press conference. “I told my stablemaster that I want to take the responsibility so that I would not stain the honor of yokozuna. I apologize from my heart to the people, sumo fans, the Japan Sumo Association, to supporters of my stable and my oyakata (coach) and his wife for causing such trouble.”
Harumafuji D.Byambadorj refused to talk about the details on the incident, which is still under police investigation. His stablemaster Isegahama said Harumafuji is not supposed
to discuss details because of the ongoing investigation into the case.
According to media reports, Harumafuji got angry because Takanoiwa was repeatedly checking his mobile phone while the two were conversing.
Takanoiwa was diagnosed with concussion and skull fracture after the brawl. Takanoiwa’s head injury pictures have been leaked on the internet by the president of the Mongolian Sumo Federation D.Batbayar on Monday. Takanoiwa’s injury required stitches.
Harumafuji said, “I think it is my duty asa senior wrestler to correct and teach junior wrestlers when they are lacking in manners and civility. But I went too far.”
“I’ve never caused any trouble when I was drinking. This incident didn’t happen because of alcohol,” he added.
Sumo fans are astounded by the yokozuna’s retirement and believe that he doesn’t have to retire to take responsibility for the scandal the incident caused.
Harumafuji made his debut as a professional sumo wrestler in Japan in 2001 and was promoted to yokozuna in 2012.
He won 712 matches during his time in the makuuchi (top) division, the sixth highest number of victories.
Reflecting on his 17-year career in sumo, Harumafuji said, “I really love sumo. The way of sumo is not simply to be strong, but through sumo… I wanted to inspire the people and give them courage and hope.”