TOKYO, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Text messages suggesting Japanese sumo wrestlers have been fixing matches have been found on cellphones of a wrestler and a sumo stablemaster, officials said.
The phones were confiscated during a police investigation into wrestlers gambling on pro baseball games, Kyodo News reported Wednesday.
Sumo followers say the evidence, if confirmed, could force the Japan Sumo Association, which has denied numerous previous allegations of match-fixing, to reform the sport.
The association, the sport's governing body, says it was informed of the text messages by the country's sports ministry, which was given the information by the police.
"It's a betrayal of sumo fans ... if this is true," JSA chairman Kaiketsu Masateru said. "It would be something that rocks (sumo) to its foundation. We will investigate thoroughly."
The text messages contain the names of two stablemasters and 11 wrestlers, as well as tactics for throwing bouts and several numerical figures thought to indicate several hundred thousand yen per match, officials said.