Tokyo court rules in favor of Sumo Association, Kitanoumi in yaocho case
In the civil lawsuit filed against the Kodansha publishing company for their tabloid Shukan Gendai's publishing an article alleging that the Asashoryu - Hakuho bout in Nagoya 2006 was fixed, a Tokyo court sided with the prosecution awarding the Sumo Association and Kitanoumi a total of about $40K (US) in damages with Kitanoumi pocketing about $34K and the Association picking up the remaining $6K. The two had sought $1.2 million in total damages. The judge explained during his decision, "There is no way that I could confirm that article as being true."
The Shukan Gendai possessed a tape which they played in court that was a recording of Hakuho's stablemaster, Miyagino-oyakata, admitting to his mistress that he paid the Asashoryu camp about $30K to let Hakuho win the bout, but the judge dismissed the evidence in the case stating, "The oyakata did not receive instructions from anyone, and it can't be proven that the former commissioner ordered anything." When asked for comment afterwards, Kitanoumi-oyakata stated, "It was a valid decision, and with this victory in court, the name of the Sumo Association and my name have been restored."
Kodansha is considering an appeal of the ruling based on the fact that Miyagino-oyakata was caught on tape admitting the bout was fixed and paying Asashoryu. Regarding that circumstance and whether or not the Association will punish Miyagino-oyakata, Musashigawa Rijicho stated, "When this trial is completed, we'll discuss it with the board of directors."