- Title: JAPAN: SUMO WRESTLING - "Bad boy" sumo champ Asashoryu to retire amid scandals
- Date: 5th February 2010
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (FILE) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) SUMO GRAND CHAMPION ASASHORYU PERFORMING NEW YEAR'S RITE SUMO ASSOCIATION OFFICIALS LOOKING ON MORE OF ASASHORYU OFFERING NEW YEAR'S RITE ASASHORYU ENTERING ANOTHER SHRINE'S MAIN COURTYARD SPECTATORS ASASHORYU AND TWO OTHER SUMO WRESTLERS AND SHRINE OFFICIALS POSITIONING THEMSELVES ASASHORYU WINNING ASASHORYU WALKING
- Embargoed: 20th February 2010 12:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVADWQAKQO0HL12UPS2HSS6114LL
- Story Text: Troubled sumo grand champion Asashoryu has announced his retirement on Thursday (February 4) after a probe into reports of a drunken scuffle in Tokyo last month.
"I apologise for the trouble caused to people outside and inside the sumo world. Today, I'm taking the responsibility and decided to retire," the Mongolian grand champion, who holds the highest rank of "yokozuna", told a hastily arranged news conference.
Trying to hold back his tears, an emotional Asashoryu said: "I am proud (of having been a yokozuna)."
The Japan Sumo Association (JSA) on Tuesday (February 2) ordered an investigation following reports that Asashoryu had allegedly broken a man's nose in an incident outside a nightclub last month.
The head of Asashoryu's sumo stable told Japanese media over the weekend that the yokozuna had been too drunk to remember the incident.
Asashoryu won his 25th Emperor's Cup last month, but sumo officials said he would face punishment if the reports were proven.
The JSA had said it would reach a decision by Thursday.
Asashoryu has been dogged by controversy during his colourful career, for everything from pulling an opponent's hair to starting a soapy bathroom brawl during a post-bout soak.
In 2007, he was banned after being caught playing soccer in Mongolia, having forged a doctor's note for a back injury.
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2011. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None