Yokozuna Hakuho's participation in this month's Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament remains up in the air despite the 36-year-old testing negative for the coronavirus, the Japan Sumo Association revealed Thursday.
A day after 19-year-old juryo-division wrestler Hokuseiho tested positive, Hakuho and the other members of the Miyagino stable all tested negative. Until now, the JSA has barred entire stables from participating if any member tested positive within two weeks of a grand tournament's first day.
The 15-day tournament opens on Sept. 12 at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan. Hakuho, who owns the career championships record, missed January's grand tournament after becoming infected but bounced back from March knee surgery in July to win his 45th grand tournament with a 15-0 record.
The JSA's communications director, Shibatayama, said the JSA will make a decision on the stable's participation in the coming days following tests of all JSA members and consultations with specialists.
He said the situation remains in the balance with a lower-ranked wrestler at the stable not in good health.
"We will monitor the situation and see how it develops," Shibatayama said. "We can't tell whether they will (be cleared) in time or not until we investigate the situation."