Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sumo Wrestler Strikes Apprentice With Ladle

In one of this year's most bizarre stories, Toyko sumo wrestler Toyozakura whacked a junior sumo wrestler with a cooking instrument, a ladle. Toyozakura, whose ladle-wielding assault left the 18-year-old apprentice bleeding and needing eight stitches, will take a 30 percent pay cut for three months, Japanese sumo officials said on Thursday. The same punishment was handed out to gym chief Magaki for beating a junior wrestler with a bamboo sword in a series of incidents that has tarnished sumo's image. Violent hazing, or beating during training, has long been seen as customary, contributing to the sport's struggle to attract new recruits. But there was a public outcry over the death last year of a teenage apprentice who was beaten with a beer bottle and a baseball bat.

Toyozakura, 34, apologized after admitting he used a ladle to hit the apprentice on the head. "I asked him to do something, which I don't remember exactly, but he couldn't do it," Toyozakura said. What ever happened to the good old fashioned way of shutting up an opponent by sitting on him with your big fat sumo ass?!?

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