Stablemaster bout-rigging claim hit

Kyodo News

The Japan Sumo Association is preparing to demote grand champion Hakuho’s stablemaster Miyagino over a match-fixing claim he reportedly made in a taped conversation with a female acquaintance in 2007, it was learned Thursday.

If demoted, Miyagino, 41, could remain in the Miyagino stable but some board directors likely would urge him to resign.

Kumagatani, who is a coach at the Miyagino stable but was once the stablemaster, will likely return to his position as chief. Miyagino was questioned by the JSA on Dec. 9 and 17.