Former sumo champion Harumafuji charged with assault

Former sumo grand champion Harumafuji was charged on Thursday with assaulting a junior wrestler while out drinking in an incident that threatened to taint the image of Japan’s ancient sport. He may be fined but exempted from standing trial since he has apologised and stepped down over the incident. Harumafuji, 33, assaulted fellow Mongolian Takanoiwa at a bar in Tottori in October for texting his girlfriend while they were conversing. He denied hitting his country man with a beer bottle in the attack but admitted hitting Takanoiwa on the head with a remote control device. Born Davaanyam Byambadorj, Harumafuji began his career at the age of 16 and was promoted to the highest rank, ‘yokozuna’, in 2012. He has won nine grand championships so far.