Mitakeumi. (Photo courtesy of Japan Sumo Association)(Kyodo)

Demotion-threatened ozeki Mitakeumi was forced to pull out of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday after a positive COVID-19 case was reported at his Dewanoumi stable.

Mitakeumi needed a winning record of eight wins or more to stay at the sport's second-highest rank but struggled at Dolphins Arena after going 2-4 in his first six days, due partly to a right shoulder injury he suffered at the Summer meet in May.

Mitakeumi will finish the ongoing meet with a 2-5 record as he forfeits Saturday's scheduled bout against komusubi Hoshoryhu.

The Japan Sumo Association will discuss in due course where Mitakeumi will be ranked for September's Autumn meet. He is the first wrestler to have been forced to pull out midway through a tournament due to a coronavirus-related reason.

Until now, wrestlers forced to forgo competing at a tournament due to the coronavirus either retained their rank or were ranked one level lower upon their return at the following meet.