Seiyashi

Asanoyama's COVID violation suspension and comeback

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EDIT1: Timeline/TLDR:

  • 19 May, 4:41pm JST: Herutto tweeted mid-makuuchi (about 20 mins before zenhansen ended) that a gossip rag accused Asanoyama of breaching NSK COVID guidelines by visiting hostess clubs and karaoke bars after banzuke day. Asanoyama's bout against Takanosho on Day 11 of the basho still proceeded.
  • 19 May, 6:02pm JST: Sanspo runs a short report quoting Shibatayama, who says that in consultation with Oguruma, there is no basis in the report. It is currently (19 May, 8:41 JST) unclear on what basis they make this statement; Herutto on Twitter further implies that Asanoyama has been interviewed, but also says that the gossip rag is preparing to publish a full article soon.
  • 19 May, unknown timing: Asanoyama is interviewed again by the Kyokai in the presence of a lawyer, who asks Asanoyama to give up his phone's location history to confirm or deny the story's veracity. It's found that the phone's location history matches the story's details, which forces Asanoyama to confess.
  • 19 May, 10:55pm JST: Nikkan Sports runs an article saying Asanoyama admits to wrongdoing, although originally denying it when questioned on the 18th by Shibatayama and Oguruma. He will be kyujo from day 12.

EDIT2: Topic has been spliced with original posts in the Natsu 2021 Basho thread.

Um guys?

 

Edited by Seiyashi
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1 minute ago, Seiyashi said:

Um guys?

Holy heckballs. This could be big.

Edited by Godango

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2 minutes ago, Godango said:

Holy heckballs. This could be big.

#68 is going to be furious. First his nephew loses then the next great hope of his stable goes and mucks up this big (and screws over his old friend in the process just when he'd taken over as shisho).

After Abi's case, I wouldn't be too surprised if a forced retirement occurs. Asanoyama will be very lucky to remain in ozumo at all never mind makuuchi.

Edited by Seiyashi

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1 minute ago, Seiyashi said:

Um guys?

 

Well, this poses a conundrum for the Kyokai. If he gets the same punishment as Abi, that’s his days as an Ozeki over. Kadoban rules will protect him for two basho plus one, but by the time his exile is over with he’ll be back in hiramaku and presumably his record this time around won’t count toward a rerun at Ozeki (not that it’s looking to be all that high a record anyway).

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1 minute ago, Eikokurai said:

Well, this poses a conundrum for the Kyokai. If he gets the same punishment as Abi, that’s his days as an Ozeki over. Kadoban rules will protect him for two basho plus one, but by the time his exile is over with he’ll be back in hiramaku and presumably his record this time around won’t count toward a rerun at Ozeki (not that it’s looking to be all that high a record anyway).

If Abi was the lenient first case, then a forced suspension is very lucky for Asanoyama. I wouldn't be surprised if he were forced to retire altogether, on the basis of having to set an example for other rikishi as an ozeki or something.

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Before we get too carried away, how credible is this source?

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4 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

If Abi was the lenient first case, then a forced suspension is very lucky for Asanoyama. I wouldn't be surprised if he were forced to retire altogether, on the basis of having to set an example for other rikishi as an ozeki or something.

Quite possibly, if only to avoid the awkwardness of him returning from suspension and going on a brilliant Ozeki run, leading to the situation where the Kyokai has to decide whether to re-promote a guy they recently punished.

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It'll be interesting to see how the NSK handles this, considering he's their greatest* homegrown yokozuna hope.

*I personally think Takakeisho's more likely to get there, but Asanoyama's the one with the most hype.

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5 minutes ago, Godango said:

Before we get too carried away, how credible is this source?

Credible enough for Herutto to report it without caveats (she's done so before for sources that clearly don't know what they're talking about, like Hakuho's interview on the occasion of Kakuryu's retirement). It could be that the shock value of the news also got the better of her, but it's more likely than not to be credible.

As for the timing, the release happened mid makuuchi, which may be why we're not hearing any official responses so far. But if Asanoyama has a sudden fusenpai, we know why.

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Suspension seems most likely if we look at both Abi (same situation if different rank) and Asashoryu (higher rank, suspended over the football in Mongolia thing). 

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Just now, Godango said:

This probably warrants it's own thread if you want to start it @Seiyashi.

Good call, will do so.

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Just now, Eikokurai said:

Suspension seems most likely if we look at both Abi (same situation if different rank) and Asashoryu (higher rank, suspended over the football in Mongolia thing). 

I suppose a longer (6 basho?) suspension wouldn't be off the table. Dropping out of the paid ranks altogether, a year out of action, pretty heavy stuff. Then avoids him being able to put a run together too quickly, and the story of contrition should he eventually get back there would be good PR.

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Courtesy of Herutto on Twitter.

Credibility as yet unknown but no caveats from Herutto so far (perhaps @Kintamayama can help out here), although at this time of writing Asanoyama's bout against Takanosho (Day 11 Natsu 2021) seems to be proceeding. The news broke mid-makuuchi, so maybe the powers that be have yet to get wind of this.

If the Abi precedent is followed, Asanoyama is going for at least a 4 basho suspension; if he's pulled out tomorrow without his KK (he's only 7-4 at best even if he beats Takanosho now), then he'll be kadoban and ozekiwake for 2 basho but will be going 0-0-15 from sekiwake twice in a row. Someone's also mentioned the Asashoryu football precedent of suspension.

Personally, if this is true, I think Asanoyama is lucky to get away with a 4 basho suspension; either the suspension will be more severe to drop him out of sekitori altogether or he may be forced to retire/hand in papers on conditional acceptance like with Abi. There's the context of Ryuden also being investigated for COVID violations and a spike in cases; the NSK may think it necessary to make a more drastic example of a senior wrestler.

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4 minutes ago, Godango said:
6 minutes ago, Eikokurai said:

Suspension seems most likely if we look at both Abi (same situation if different rank) and Asashoryu (higher rank, suspended over the football in Mongolia thing). 

I suppose a longer (6 basho?) suspension wouldn't be off the table. Dropping out of the paid ranks altogether, a year out of action, pretty heavy stuff. Then avoids him being able to put a run together too quickly, and the story of contrition should he eventually get back there would be good PR.

Yeah, I suggested a severe enough suspension to drop him out of sekitori altogether when I started the thread in the Ozumo Discussions subforum. If he's pulled out tomorrow he will be kadoban next tournament and ozekiwake the tournament after; that makes 2/4 0-0-15s if he is suspended for 4/6 basho.

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Huge news. I personally think a severe (I say 6  basho + remainder of this basho) suspension rather than outright expulsion, but everything is on the table.

What a fall from grace this will be, if true.

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So we really might be back to two ozeki as quickly as two basho later, if Shodai fails to clear kadoban and Asanoyama is at least sidelined (I don't think he's escaping without sanction if true).

Speaking of Shodai, he may be an unexpected beneficiary this basho if this means that he gets another hiramaku opponent in lieu of Asanoyama if Asanoyama's withdrawn, which gives him a slightly better chance at 3 wins (assuming he loses to Takakeisho and Terunofuji).

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Just now, Kaninoyama said:

Surprised they let him fight today if there's any credence to the info. 

Well, if the info is true, he's been a walking risk for 10 days now. What's one more day? And that's assuming the sumo world knows now; with mobile phone bans in the shitakubeya and the oyakata generally busy, the right powers that be may not be contactable to make a decision on the spot without causing more questions than answers.

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2 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

So we really might be back to two ozeki as quickly as two basho later, if Shodai fails to clear kadoban and Asanoyama is at least sidelined (I don't think he's escaping without sanction if true).

Speaking of Shodai, he may be an unexpected beneficiary this basho if this means that he gets another hiramaku opponent in lieu of Asanoyama if Asanoyama's withdrawn, which gives him a slightly better chance at 3 wins (assuming he loses to Takakeisho and Terunofuji).

One soon enough with Terunofuji’s inevitable move upwards.

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49 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

Courtesy of Herutto on Twitter.

Credibility as yet unknown but no caveats from Herutto so far (perhaps @Kintamayama can help out here),

Herutto is totally credible-the only question is if the publication is credible as well. A quick check shows it's a scandal rag, but that doesn't mean the story isn't true. I read the article, it accuses  him of going out multiple times and even having words with journalists who caught wind of this. The establishment is a karaoke bar, no karaoke was done. The place remained open till one AM against all guidelines that bars should close early, although it's not by law. Asanoyama is said to have been seen leaving even later. I personally find it hard to believe that such a high profile person would even think of doing that without being wary of being spotted, although they say he was wearing a hoodie all the time. Either that, or he's REALLY dumb.

Edited by Kintamayama
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I know these are serious allegations, but I can't help but chuckle slightly at the idea of an ozeki-sized man hiding in a hoodie.

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Just now, yohcun said:

I know these are serious allegations, but I can't help but chuckle slightly at the idea of an ozeki-sized man hiding in a hoodie.

I know right?! You'd think the fact that they stick out by a country mile by virtue of size alone would be sufficient deterrent against rikishi doing stupid things in public.

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Wow.

If he is forced to leave, then this is kawabanga kadoban (7-5-3 result). ~2 monthes more punishment.
There should be punishment, but they invent absurdly harsh measures.
 
Just one more day for kachikosi chance!
Edited by Qwerry

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47 minutes ago, yohcun said:

I know these are serious allegations, but I can't help but chuckle slightly at the idea of an ozeki-sized man hiding in a hoodie.

Easy to spot but maybe hard to recognize with their nipples and buttocks covered.

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