Judo: Japan minister calls beatings worst sports crisis
TOKYO (AFP) - Allegations that the national women's judo coach used a bamboo sword to beat his athletes, including some Olympians, are the "gravest crisis" to hit Japanese sport, the education minister said on Tuesday.
Former world champion Ryuji Sonoda resigned in humiliation last week after admitting that claims he had physically and emotionally abused 15 of the country's top sportswomen were "more or less true".
The explosive claims have rocked a nation accustomed to greatness in judo, and come as Tokyo seeks to persuade Olympic bosses it should be allowed to host the 2020 Games.
"The incident is the gravest crisis in Japan's sporting history." Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura told reporters.