Aging Japan boxing chief Akira Yamane quits, admits gangster friend

Sports | 8 Aug 2018 2:40 pm

The scandal-plagued chief of the Japan Amateur Boxing Federation has given up his post.

Akira Yamane announced he was stepping down immediately at a news conference in the city of Osaka, western Japan, today. He apologized to amateur boxers for the scandals, NHK reports.

Yamane has admitted to misappropriating a subsidy granted to an amateur boxer. He also acknowledged a longtime friendship with a former gang boss.

Recently, more than 300 people with links to amateur boxing asked the Japan Sports Agency and other organizations to investigate alleged irregularities by Yamane. But he steadfastly refused to resign.

Yamane, who is 78 years old, is from Osaka prefecture.

In his statement, Yamane did not address his relationship with the organized crime figure. He also did not touch upon the alleged misuse of grant money, Japan Times reported.

Among other complaints, Yamane is said to have pressured referees to give favorable treatment to fighters from his native Nara Prefecture.

He is also accused of having held a monopoly on the sale of boxing gloves used in official JABF competitions. The JABF-approved gloves were reportedly supplied by a front company controlled by Yamane.

He got involved in the management of the amateur boxing federation of neighboring Nara prefecture around 1975. He became a director of the Japan Amateur Boxing Federation in 1991, and has been its chairman since 2011. He was head coach of the Japanese boxing team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.-Photo: Japan Times.

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