Katsuya Kitamura made a name for himself in New Japan Pro Wrestling. He won New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Young Lion Cup in 2017. Unfortunately, he passed away recently.
According to a report by Tokyo Sport, Kitamura “felt an abnormality in his physical condition on the same day and called an ambulance himself to the hospital. After that, his condition changed suddenly.” The cause of death has not been publicly disclosed.
Kitamura was 6 foot fall and weight 265 pounds, leading to many calling him “Wrestling Monster,” and originally made headlines as an amateur wrestler.
According to Daily Star, Kitamura was a three-time All Japan Champion in the Greco-Roman 96-kg class, and was a contender to represent Japan in the 2012 London Olympics, but in June 2011, he received a two-year ban from the sport after testing positive for anabolic steroids. Kitamura, who was the first Japanese wrestler to fail a drug test, claimed he took the steroids by accident after purchasing supplements abroad, but he did not appeal his ban.
We would like to offer our condolences to Kitamura’s family and close ones during this time. RIP.