Russian wrestlers expelled, sumo chairman resigns over marijuana scandal

TOKYO (AP) -- A drug scandal is rocking the world of sumo wrestling.

Two popular sumo wrestlers from Russia have been slapped with lifetime bans from Japan's ancient national sport for allegedly using marijuana. And the head of the Japan Sumo Association has resigned.

The wrestlers, who are brothers, tested positive for the drug when the sport conducted its first drug tests following the arrest last month of another Russian wrestler for marijuana possession.

The two who were kicked out today insist they're clean.

Sumo has its roots in religious ritual and tends to hold its athletes and officials to high moral standards. Marijuana possession is considered a serious offense in Japan, and the scandal has been front-page news.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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