In recent years, Sumo’s become quite the multi-cultural sport with many foreign-born rikishi coming to Japan with hopes of making a name for themselves in this most traditional of sports. Success stories such as the two Mongolian Yokozuna Asashoryu and Hakuho encourage others with dreams of having their names go down in the history books.
20-year-old Russian wrestler, Wakanoho did just that – tho’ no doubt not in a way that he’d wished. Wakanoho, born Gagloev Soslan Aleksandrovich, has his name go down in the annals of Sumo as the first ever active wrestler to be fired.
Wakanoho, a top-level Makuuchi rikishi (wrestler) who had attained the rank of maegashira, was arrested earlier this week for possession of 0.3 grams of marijuana in a cigarette. In an interview with police, Wakanoho admitted to being a user, and smoking paraphenalia was found at both his apartment and at the Magaki stable where he trains.
This may seem to many foreigners as an amazing exaggeration of what’s a decriminalized drug in most western nations, but in Japan, there’s no delineation between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ drugs.
His lack of control was something that has plagued him since he joined the Sumo ranks in Japan, often showing a serious lack of judgment.
Sumo Assoc. director Isenoumi stated,
“Wrestlers need to be educated about returning to the origins of sumo – beginning and ending with respect.”
Stablemaster Magaki has offered to resign to take responsibility for Wakanoho’s lack of respect for the ancient sport.