August 27, 2007

The end of Yokozuna Asashoryu?

It is shame on how the media in Japan went completely all out to destroy sumo champion Yokozuna Asashoryu. A small matter of a football match that lasted only 20 minutes has been completely blown out of proportion. Asashoryu has been a symbol of friendship between Japan and his home country of Mongolia. Now relations between the two nations are in jeopardy after a humiliating scandal that has driven the grand champion to a nervous breakdown.

Asashoryu was suspended for the rest of the year after apparently faking a doctor’s note to avoid taking part in a tournament. To make matters worse, the punishment imposed by the sumo authorities – a period of virtual house arrest in Tokyo – has had a disastrous effect on his mental health.

Now with this latest piece of news, "Asashoryu fails to declare Y100 mil income over three years", it is no surprise that there is a hidden agenda. Japanese newspapers are already speculating that this may be the professional death for one of the sport’s greatest champions. Supporters of Asashoryu, meanwhile, suspect a deliberate campaign to do down the Mongolian athletes who have come to dominate sumo, at the expense of smaller and less-powerful Japanese wrestlers.