By Duncan Mackay

Masaru Tanabe head and shouldersMarch 14 - Masaru Tanabe, acting head coach of the Japanese women's judo team, is set to be given the role on a full-time basis, less than two weeks after offering to resign because of the controversy that has engulfed the sport in the country.

The appointment of the 40-year-old is due to ratified at the All Japanese Judo Federation's (AJJF) Board meeting in Tokyo tomorrow, where they will also discuss the findings of an investigation into allegations of violence against top female players and whether to introduce a series of reforms.

Tanabe is currently filling in after disgraced ex-coach Ryuji Sonoda resigned in January for physically and verbally abusing 15 athletes on the national team. 

Tanabe, along with female coaches Hitomi Kaiyama and Midori Shintani, had remained at the AJJF despite 15 Japanese women judokas accusing Sonoda and his staff of slapping, kicking and beating them during training in the run-up to London 2012.

But earlier this month they all offered to resign, claiming that a cloud had been placed over them following the scandal after the AJJF had found them guilty by association - even though they had cleared them on charges of physically and verbally abusing the athletes.

Tanabe and his assistants changed their mind after the reprimand was dropped.

"We held them responsible out of habit, without looking into what was what," said AJJF President Haruki Uemura said.

"It's an undeniable fact that we were at fault."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
March 2013: Panel investigating Japan judo scandal make recommendations to AJJF
March 2013: Japanese acting head women's judo coach offers to step down in wake of abuse scandal
February 2013: Japanese women's coaches suspended by International Judo Federation after scandal
February 2013: Judo abuse scandal is "gravest crisis in Japan's sporting history" says Sports Minister
February 2013: Judo coach conduct "most regrettable" say Japanese Olympic Committee