Seiyashi

Asanoyama caught violating COVID restrictions

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Godango said:

Someone can probably do a better job of translating this than I: https://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/20210519/sum21051918020008-n1.html

But it seems like the gist is this might be much ado about nothing.

Nice find. I certainly hope it is much ado about nothing as well and can be written off as shoddy reporting - which isn't unprecedented in sumo, although it seems oddly quick for Shibatayama and Oguruma to so swiftly conclude that there is no basis in the report. What did they do, interview Asanoyama who would more likely than not swear blind that he didn't do any of that?

It's an invidious position. On the one hand, there's a rag of dubious provenance making fairly explosive claims about a senior wrestler. On the other hand, the NSK isn't as yet revealing why they believe the claims to be groundless. While it is often true that he who asserts must prove, in this case it would seem that some investigation by the NSK is in order as well.

EDIT: Herutto is alluding to Shibatayama having accepted Asanoyama's denial; I don't know as of this writing whether she is referring to the same sanspo snippet. But ominously, she also refers to a full article from the tabloid being forthcoming, which may or may not blow this up even worse by this time tomorrow. That said, that gives Asanoyama one more day to secure a kachikoshi and hence an extra basho's grace from falling down the banzuke should he be suspended.

Edited by Seiyashi

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The writing has been on the wall since he was tainted by the President's Cup...

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Whether Asanoyama did or didn't violate Covid restrictions, you can bet that the NSA will do their very best to have their great home-grown hope found innocent. On that basis, the journalists involved are going to have to produce more evidence and, to be honest, what journo hasn't got a camera on their phone? No pictures, so-far, seems suspicious unless this is the initial click-bait article with 'further revelations to come' type story.

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4 minutes ago, Karasukurai said:

Whether Asanoyama did or didn't violate Covid restrictions, you can bet that the NSA will do their very best to have their great home-grown hope found innocent. On that basis, the journalists involved are going to have to produce more evidence and, to be honest, what journo hasn't got a camera on their phone? No pictures, so-far, seems suspicious unless this is the initial click-bait article with 'further revelations to come' type story.

Herouth implies that it's exactly that, although she also states that the tabloid does have a fair number of better pictures that they are going to release alongside the article. The first released photo is a shot of someone in a taxi which is hardly conclusive as to identity. In that context, reading Shibatayama's defence of no case to answer is hardly surprising; it's pretty much throwing down the gauntlet to the rag to either put up or shut up.

We're seeing nothing more than the opening salvos; there may be a chance that Asanoyama may yet complete the basho although what effect this is going to have on his already middling performance is unknown. But this will be a fine drama to keep eyes on. Either the rag gets Asashoryu-ed like with Shuukan Gendai, because this is a really damning thing to say about a senior wrestler without basis, or Asanoyama is in for some serious muck.

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2 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

Herouth implies that it's exactly that, although she also states that the tabloid does have a fair number of better pictures that they are going to release alongside the article.

Many thanks for that, the paper is going to spin this whole thing out then - good for circulation. So, if this is indeed the case, this story 'might' have legs then? Interesting.

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Posted (edited)

So uh. Should we rename this thread to Wrestlers breaking COVID restrictions, Wrestlers behaving badly, or just merge this into the Corona + Sumo thread already?

Herutto states (without linking sources) on Twitter that a tabloid accused Ryuden of having a long-time affair, knocking up his lover, and then forcing her to have an abortion; not known yet whether this is related to his COVID violations that he was put on kyujo for. That said, someone replied that a tabloid similarly accused Tochinoshin of monkeying around, so take that with a Terutsuyoshi.

There's also apparently another case of power harassment by an okamisan at Asahiyama-beya. ( @pricklypomegranate has started a separate thread for it )

But both of these are technically off-topic for this thread, not to mention probably a lot less better substantiated.

Good lord, today is definitely tempestuous for sumo.

Edited by Seiyashi

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1 minute ago, Karasukurai said:

So, if this is indeed the case, this story 'might' have legs then? Interesting.

Whether or not it has legs, Shibatayama's denial didn't do anything to cut them off. At least, not if it's based solely on Asanoyama's denial, and I don't see how the NSK could have arrived at their denial so quickly by an independent inquiry.

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Has Asanoyama been reprimanded before? Abi was punished severely because he was already in bother for the social media thing and showing a lack of remorse.  I would have expected Asanoyama to be treated less harshly if he's a first time offender.

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Nikkan has a fuller report on this: https://www.nikkansports.com/battle/sumo/news/202105190000737.html

Shibatayama says that Asanoyama denies the reports of going to a hostess club just before the Natsu basho. After the report broke, the NSK interviewed Asanoyama. Oguruma commented: "What about this kind of report now?", and reiterated what Shibatayama said that Asanoyama said - that it was factless. Shibatayama further elaborated: "If a photo was taken of such indiscretions, there would be no escape, but as the facts are, there is no proof that Asanoyama did it. There is not yet any photo of Asanoyama in the club, so it is in question now whether the contents of the report are true or not. The facts just aren't clear in the current situation."

Asanoyama denies the reports, and says that he will not go kyujo just because the article came out.

The report concludes with a summary of Abi's case.

So it seems that indeed Shibatayama and the NSK are playing the put up or shut up strategy. Wisely non-committal on their part to say that there just is no actionable evidence at this point. The ball is in the tabloid's court now.

8 minutes ago, Mightyduck said:

Has Asanoyama been reprimanded before? Abi was punished severely because he was already in bother for the social media thing and showing a lack of remorse.  I would have expected Asanoyama to be treated less harshly if he's a first time offender.

That's true. I don't think Asanoyama has been in trouble before, so that might militate against handing him a very stiff penalty. On that basis alone his penalty, if any, may be less severe than Abi's. But there's also the matter of his holding of a prestigious rank to consider and what example the NSK wishes to set. You could also say Harumafuji wasn't reprimanded previously for any indiscretions, but the optics on the Takanoiwa assault as well as a loss of support from his supporter clubs just made it impossible for him to continue.

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He also has Abi as an example, so would have known that the NSK wouldn't take an infraction lightly.

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2 minutes ago, Morning said:

He also has Abi as an example, so would have known that the NSK wouldn't take an infraction lightly.

Sigh... always thought that Asanoyama was one of the level-headed, decent ones. If it really were true, I would be so disappointed - he has so much potential. Just suspension might not do for someone of his rank, but we will have to see of course. 

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IF - and this is a big if - Asanoyama is guilty:

Points in favour:
- No prior infractions (Mightyduck)
- "Great Japanese Hope" for yokozuna

Points against:
- Abi makes clear COVID infractions not tolerated (Morning)
- Ryuden's case may make NSK think they need to make an example of someone
- High rankholder and should be setting a good example (PP)

Any other ideas?

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More twists and turns: Asanoyama makes a clean breast of it and says he will go kyujo from tomorrow. Excerpts from Nikkan's article below.

https://www.nikkansports.com/battle/sumo/news/202105190001259.html

Nikkan Sports understands that Asanoyama violated the the NSK coronavirus guidelines. According to Bunshun Online, 2 days before the Natsu basho, he was visiting hostess clubs. He originally denied the allegations, but did an about-turn on the 11th day of the basho, admitting to his wrongdoing. He will not be able to avoid harsher punishment as a result of the false initial response, and will be kyujo from Day 12.

The NSK interviewed Asanoyama on the 18th (my note: ?! So the release of the article today was in response to a publish and be damned response, or what?) resulting in a denial. Even when told that it would be serious if it was later found out to be true, Asanoyama continued to deny matters.

After the torikumi with Takanosho today, Asanoyama was confronted together with Takasago oyakata about the article, and then admitted to wrongdoing and his initial denial.

Nikkan Sports ends with the dire observation that Asanoyama bore a heavy responsibility as an ozeki, and on top of that, lied to the NSK initially. With Abi's precedent, there will be heavy punishment and it will be more severe than Abi's. The last sentence expresses disappointment that Asanoyama has lost the trust both of the NSK and of the sumo fans.

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My eyes are dilated from an eye appointment so it's tough to read much, but I saw the topic name and thought "When presented with a headline that asks a yes/no question, the answer is almost always ''no'"

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Gurowake said:

My eyes are dilated from an eye appointment so it's tough to read much, but I saw the topic name and thought "When presented with a headline that asks a yes/no question, the answer is almost always ''no'"

Not today, unfortunately. Asanoyama was caught going out up to 2 days before the basho, was confronted yesterday about it by Shibatayama and Oguruma and denied it, then did a volte-face today after the paparazzi broke the story. Bad things incoming.

Large font size and TLDR for your convenience. Had a dilation before and it's a PITA to see anything with it indeed.

Edited by Seiyashi
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As an Ozeki, I see him retiring. But what do I know.

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Just now, Kintamayama said:

As an Ozeki, I see him retiring. But what do I know.

Do you think it would have made a difference had he come clean with Shibatayama and Oguruma yesterday?

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4 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

Do you think it would have made a difference had he come clean with Shibatayama and Oguruma yesterday?

Definitely. Oosunaarashi was ultimately kicked out for lying, not for his transgression.

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Oh ... FFS. A promising career down the toilet.

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3 minutes ago, Yaochozuna said:

Holy mother of all facepalms :-/

Holy captain of all facepalms...

18442-picard-facepalm.jpg

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1 minute ago, Benihana said:

Holy captain of all facepalms...

No, I meant his mother…

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