Say It Ain't So: Sumo's Fixed!

Wrestlers admit arranging matches in Japan
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2011 6:39 PM CST
Sumo wrestler Enatsukasa gets into a vehicle in Saitama, north of Tokyo. He's admitted to fixing matches.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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(Newser) – Three Sumo wrestlers have admitted fixing matches in Japan, and the scandal is only expected to grow, reports the Guardian. "It is certainly the national sport," said Prime Minister Naoto Kan. "If matches have been fixed, it is a serious betrayal of the people." Police found incriminating texts on the mobile phones of several wrestlers during an investigation into gambling. Now the investigation will widen into whether they were making money off the fixed sumo bouts, notes AP.

The texts showed the wrestlers arranging outcomes and even detailing the moves to be used. "I'll hit my opponent head on," said one message. Another: "For 20 more I will concede. After the meet, I need to make at least 50 or I'll be in serious trouble." While it's a national shame, it's unclear whether police will take action. Match-fixing isn't illegal in Japan. (Read more sumo wrestling stories.)

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