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Asashoryu's drunken attack on acquaintance left him with broken nose

Yokozuna Asashoryu
Yokozuna Asashoryu

A person who was hit by Yokozuna Asashoryu earlier this month was initially reported to be his personal manager, but the victim was actually another male acquaintance who sustained a broken nose in the incident, it's been learned.

At around 4 a.m. on Jan. 16, Asashoryu, who was drunk at the time, got into an argument with the man on a street in the Nishiazabu district of Tokyo's Minato Ward, according to investigative sources. The two later went for a drive, but the man reportedly asked a police officer from Azabu Police Station -- who was dealing with the aftermath of a traffic accident -- for help after being punched in the face by Asashoryu.

The man, who is a restaurant employee, reportedly initially told police that he was not going to make an issue out of the incident if Asashoryu apologized to him. However, after not hearing from the yokozuna with an apology and consulting a lawyer, the man visited Azabu Police Station on Monday. The victim reportedly submitted a doctor's certificate confirming his broken nose, which is expected to take a month to heal, according to police.

As of Wednesday, the man had not filed a damage report with police. If the victim submits a report, police will question Asashoryu on suspicion of bodily harm.

Following initial press reports, Asashoryu's side explained last Friday that the yokozuna had shoved the manager away after a row. Later the same day, after his bout in the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament, Asashoryu told reporters that the issue was "not a big deal."

Asashoryu's manager also wrote in his blog on Saturday: "Please don't worry because there is no awkwardness between the yokozuna and me. I'm sorry we got a little overly excited late at night."

On Monday, the day after the last day of the tournament, which Asashoryu won, Japan Sumo Association Chairman Musashigawa (former Yokozuna Mienoumi) verbally reprimanded the yokozuna and his stablemaster Takasago (former Ozeki Asashio) over the incident.

Speaking with reporters on Wednesday in Tokyo, Takasago said, "Asashoryu caused trouble when he was drinking alcohol with his friends, but I heard it's been sorted out among themselves. I already told the chairman (Musashigawa) but I haven't found out about the extent of the victim's injuries."

Takasago also remarked that the initial explanation by Asashoryu's side that the victim was the yokozuna's manager was based on what the manger had said and he didn't know the truth.

(Mainichi Japan) January 28, 2010

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