Ozeki Asanoyama will be suspended for 6 tournaments and have his pay cut in half for breaking Covid restrictions and visiting a hostess club. This follows on from similar suspensions to popular rikishi, Abi, and to the hard-twerking, sorry, hard-working Ryuden. Ryuden had notably fallen from Juryo into Jonokuchi due to injury and had climbed all the way to sanyaku. Abi has likewise begun his comeback with consecutive lower-rank yusho.
Asanoyama’s drop could place him in Sandanme at the Nagoya-basho 2022, assuming no more canceled tournaments. His former oyakata, the former Ozeki Asashio, had retired from his stablemaster position at the end of 2020 but had stayed on as an advisor, Nishikijima-oyakata. However, he has now also retired from that role as he was also found to have broken Covid restrictions.
Stay tuned…I’m sure there will be more details to follow. I will also write a separate editorial on this scandal later tonight. While many details are finalized and certainly have an impact on the upcoming Nagoya basho, there are quite a few other questions as well as more context to provide…and debate over the punishment itself.