Sumo wrestling is the national sport of Japan. Two large men, dressed in loincloths, with long hair tied neatly into sumo knots, charge at one another like raging bulls. The first one to knock his opponent down or push him outside the tiny wrestling ring wins the match. These wrestlers are robust by any definition: disciplined, dedicated, and of a seriously hearty constitution. They live in heya, or stables, compounds separated from the rest of society and managed by a stable master. They train almost constantly. Their lives are highly structured, with everything from their sleeping schedule to their clothing dictated by tradition. And they eat a diet carefully designed to help them gain as much weight as possible. The good ones earn a nice living, have a loyal fan base, and live a life of relative comfort. The bad ones earn almost nothing while they spend their lives serving the better wrestlers.

Like baseball, football, basketball, and well, most other sports, Sumo wrestling has had its share of scandals. In 2007, a young sumo wrestler died in a bullying incident involving a several wrestlers, a stable master, and a beating with a large beer bottle. Two years later, a prominent sumo wrestler and his stable master were caught betting illegally on, of all sports, baseball. In 2011, a number of wrestlers and stable masters were caught rigging matches for money. This last scandal caused so much concern, ...

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