Sumo star arrested in Japan for marijuana

August 18, 2008 9:46:43 AM PDT
One of Japan's highest ranking foreign sumo wrestlers has been arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession, Japanese authorities said Monday in the ancient sport's first major drug scandal. Soslan Aleksandrovich Gagloev of Russia - better known by his sumo name Wakanoho - was taken into custody after officers found a marijuana cigarette in a wallet he had lost in Tokyo in June, a spokeswoman for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department said.

Someone found the wallet and handed it to police, who traced it to the 357-pound wrestler because of an identification card inside, said the official, who declined to give her name citing agency policy.

The 20-year-old Gagloev told police he had received the marijuana from a foreigner in Roppongi - a Tokyo district famous for its bars, clubs and raucous nightlife.

Gagloev faces up to five yeas in prison with forced labor and could be deported with no possibility of re-entry. He also could be thrown out of the sumo federation.