Spoon fury earns attacker salary cut

TOKYO Thu May 29, 2008 11:37am BST

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TOKYO (Reuters) - A veteran sumo wrestler who attacked a junior grappler with a cooking instrument has been ordered to take a salary cut for his violent outburst.

Toyozakura, whose ladle-wielding assault left the victim 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 meted out to gym chief Magaki for beating a junior wrestler with a bamboo sword in the latest in a series of incidents of bullying to tarnish sumo's image.

Sumo dates back some 2,000 years and retains many Shinto religious overtones but the roly-poly sport has been plagued by scandal in recent months.

The closeted sumo world is still reeling from the arrest earlier this year of a former gym chief on suspicion of assault following the death of a teenage wrestler.

Such was the impact of the incident, Japan's government weighed in on the issue, ordering sumo officials to clean up their act.

(Reporting by Alastair Himmer; Editing by Sonia Oxley)

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