ASASHORYU AKINORI

Dolgorsürengiin Dagvadorj is one of the most successful yokozuna ever, third on the all-time list and first man to win all six honbasho. He is better known under the shikona of Asashōryū, literally “morning blue dragon”, Asa being a regular prefix in his stable.

In July 2007 Asashōryū decided to skip the regional summer tour of Tōhoku and Hokkaidō beginning on 3 August because of injury. However, he was then seen on television participating in a soccer match for charity in his homeland of Mongolia. Media storm ensued. The Sumo Association suspended the rikishi for the upcoming September tournament as well as the next one in November, the first time in the sport’s history that an active yokozuna has been suspended from a main tournament. Moreover, his salaries were cut by 30% for the next four months and he was also instructed to restrict his movements to his home, his stable, and the hospital. It was the most severe punishment ever imposed on a yokozuna since the Grand Tournament system was adopted over 80 years ago.

On March 26, 2009, the Tokyo District Court ordered Kodansha to pay the wrestler ¥42.90 million in damages, believed to be the highest award for libel damages against a magazine in Japanese history

Criticised for not upholding the standards of behaviour required of a yokozuna, Asashōryū retired from sumo in February 2010 after allegations that he assaulted a man outside a Tokyo nightclub.

He stated: “I feel heavy responsibility as a yokozuna that I have caused trouble to so many people. I am the only person who can put an end to it all. I think it’s my destiny that I retire like this.”

He was 29.

[adapted from Wiki]

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