The Japan Sumo Association on Wednesday said coronavirus screenings came back negative for all members of Hakuho's Miyagino stable who were tested following the infection of the Mongolian-born grand champion.

Hakuho looks certain to miss the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament, scheduled to start this weekend at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan, after receiving a positive polymerase chain reaction test result Tuesday.

Yokozuna Hakuho. (Kyodo)

JSA communications director Shibatayama said he was unsure whether the wrestlers who had been in close contact with Hakuho would sit out the 15-day meet from Sunday, but indicated it was a possibility.

The 35-year-old Hakuho, who has won a record 44 top-division titles, had been participating in joint training sessions at Ryogoku Kokugikan last month to prepare for the tournament.

All wrestlers from the Minato stable, where a referee was infected, have also tested negative. None of them had been in close contact with the official.

Shibatayama said the association is still discussing how it will proceed should an expected state of emergency be declared for Tokyo and surrounding prefectures in response to rising coronavirus infections.

"We don't know how long the declaration will last, but we're discussing how we should respond to it," Shibatayama said by telephone.

Last Friday, a total of 12 wrestlers and staff at the Arashio stable were found to be infected with the coronavirus, including maegashira wrestler Wakatakakage, who tested positive the day before.

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