Sumo star faces a year’s ban for breaking quarantine rules

    A weekly magazine in May reported, during a grand tournament in Tokyo, that the 27-year old dined out despite specific instructions by the sumo association to stay home. Initially, the wrestler denied the allegations but later on admitted he broke the rules.

    TOKYO – Elite sumo wrestler Asanoyama Hideki has been suspended from six grand tournaments, covering a period of one year, for breaking the Japan Sumo Association’s coronavirus safety guidelines ahead of the Summer Grand Sumo in May.

    With the second-highest rank of ōzeki, Asanoyama will forfeit the rank and drop as far as the sport’s fourth-tier sandanme division. The wrestler will also received only half of his wages for a period of six months, as part of the penalties applied.

    The JSA says Asanoyama submitted a retirement declaration on 21 May. Association president Hakkaku says he will hold on to it and will only accept it should Asanoyama cause trouble for the JSA in the future.

    Asanoyama is a native of Toyama Prefecture, fighting out of Takasago stable. He debuted in March 2016 and entered the top-tier makuuchi division in September 2017.

    He won his lone grand tournament in May 2019 while fighting rank-and-file maegashira wrestler and won the promotion to ozeki after the Spring tournament in March 2020.

    There had been other wrestlers reported to have broken, repeatedly, the JSA’s guidelines and who were penalized to receive 50 percent of their wages for a period of time. (TC/The MiNT)


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