Brawls and Gangster Links Expose Sumo's Shady - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Drug Busts, Drunken Brawls and Gangster Links Expose Sumo's Shady Underbelly

NAGOYA, Japan — Sumo is more than a sport to Japan. It's like a religion, a bastion of traditional culture and a matter of national pride. Wrestlers aren't just athletes — they are icons, role models and, often, larger-than-life heroes.

Unless, of course, they are getting busted for smoking marijuana, breaking noses in drunken brawls or hobnobbing with gangsters.

And, these days, that's pretty much all the time.

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