Fat-fingered sumo wrestlers given iPads

Sumo wrestlers The sport has been rocked by a series of scandals

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Fat-fingered sumo wrestlers, unable to tap the keys on a standard mobile phone, are being given iPads to help improve communication.

The Japan Sumo Association (JSA) said it would distribute 60 iPads among all of the sport's 51 training stables.

The announcement comes as the JSA outlined measures to deal with a series of recent scandals.

The ancient sport has recently been rocked by allegations of an illegal gambling ring.

Wrestlers have been accused of betting on baseball games, which is illegal in Japan and is often associated with organised criminal gangs.

The sport's authorities were criticised for their clumsy efforts to investigate the scandals, in part due poor communication between sumo leaders.

The iPads are intended to speed up communication between JSA officials, wrestlers and coaches, who have until now relied on telephone or fax.

"We will hand out the newest iPads to all the sumo stables to swiftly communicate what we need to," JSA vice chairman Hiroyoshi Murayama said.

E-mail also has the added advantage of leaving a paper trail for investigators.

Many Japanese newspapers also reported that the iPad had been chosen because of its large touch-screen keys that can be easily prodded by the giant wrestlers.

"When they try to send e-mail on mobile phones or PCs they often end up pressing two or three keys at once," said the daily Nikkan Sports.

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