Photo/IllutrationYokozuna Harumafuji leaves Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo on Nov. 17 after being questioned by Tottori prefectural police. (Tatsuya Shimada)

So yokozuna Harumafuji and fellow Mongolian wrestler Takanoiwa tied one on, and the latter was left with supposedly severe injuries after a drunken brawl. But there, the mystery deepens.

As the world of sumo grapples with this latest scandal, new questions have arisen over the Oct. 25 incident that forced both wrestlers to sit out the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament now under way in Fukuoka.

Harumafuji, 33, has already admitted to police that he beat up maegashira No. 8 Takanoiwa, 27, during a heavy drinking session in Tottori city while the men were participating in a sumo exhibition as part of a circuit tour of the region, according to sources.

Harumafuji submitted to voluntary questioning by Tottori prefectural police in Tokyo on Nov. 17.

That same day, the Japan Sumo Association released an update about a medical certificate that was submitted to the JSA by Takanoiwa's stable on Nov. 13.

The initial certificate said that Takainowa suffered a fracture to the right-center base of his skull as well as suspected spinal fluid leakage.

However, on Nov. 17, the JSA said it could not confirm the skull fracture and that no spinal fluid had leaked.

A risk management committee made up of JSA outside directors and others is looking into the matter. On Nov. 17, the committee heard from the doctor at a Fukuoka city hospital who wrote the initial medical certificate submitted by Takanoiwa's stable.

The doctor said the original certificate should have said there were suspicions about a possible skull fracture and spinal fluid leakage. In fact, no such symptoms were observed, the doctor told the committee.

The individual apologized for wording in the original certificate that led to a misunderstanding about the extent of Takainowa's injuries.

In the original certificate, the doctor wrote that the injuries would require two weeks of treatment to heal. The two weeks were meant to start from late October immediately after the assault occurred. The doctor judged that by Nov. 9 when the medical certificate was written that Takanoiwa was well enough to return to the dohyo. The doctor said no recommendation was given to Takanoiwa to sit out the current tournament.

Takanoiwa continued to take part in the circuit tour even after the beating and he only entered the Fukuoka hospital on Nov. 5. In the end, he decided to sit out the tournament from the Nov. 12 start.

Harumafuji is also sitting out the tournament after suffering defeats on the first two days as news of the sensational fracas made headlines. He returned to Tokyo for the questioning by police.

More doubts were raised about Takanoiwa's actions after he submitted a medical certificate Nov. 13 to explain his reasons for sitting out the tournament. Normally, wrestlers who sit out a tournament from the start submit medical certificates beforehand.

To complicate matters, Takanoiwa submitted to Tottori prefectural police a medical certificate written up by a hospital in Hiroshima city where he was examined on Oct. 28. That certificate detailed even less severe injuries that were judged to require only 10 days of care. No mention was made in that certificate of a skull fracture.

Investigative sources said Harumafuji likely bashed Takanoiwa with his fists and a remote control used for a karaoke machine.

Tottori prefectural police are also questioning Takanoiwa as well as other sumo wrestlers who were at the drinking session.