Takanohana fails to regain sumo association directorship
Japan Today -- Feb 03
The first Japan Sumo Association director to be dismissed before the end of his term, popular sumo elder and former yokozuna Takanohana, failed to regain his spot on the board of directors on Friday.

The 45-year-old Takanohana was demoted on Jan 4 over his handling of last year's assault scandal that led to the retirement of grand champion Harumafuji. The stablemaster was one of 11 candidates vying to fill the 10 seats on the JSA's board of directors in Friday's election.

He had won four straight election bids before being disciplined and demoted in January. This time, Takanohana received just two votes in the ballot of all 101 sumo elders at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

The names of the 10 winners will be submitted to the JSA's board of councilors, which will rubberstamp their approval after the next grand tournament in March. Until then, those chosen in the election are technically still candidates.

JSA chairman Hakkaku, one of the candidates, took advantage of that technicality to not answer questions on Friday.

"I'll answer when the board of councilors are done and it's official," he said.

Takanohana's punishment reflected his failure to promptly report the October incident in which Takanoiwa, a wrestler from his stable, was beaten by fellow Mongolian Harumafuji in a drinking session at a bar during a regional tour.

Takanohana had also been criticized for refusing to cooperate with the internal investigation until he made himself available to the JSA crisis management panel on Dec 25, despite reporting the case to the police.

News source: Japan Today
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