Sumo wrestler Asanoyama gets 1-year ban

A high-ranking sumo wrestler who violated coronavirus pandemic protocols is being forced to sit out 6 tournaments as punishment.

The Japan Sumo Association's ban essentially puts Ozeki Asanoyama on the shelf for a year.

Asanoyama visited nightclubs 10 times between January and May, when sumo wrestlers were ordered not to go out.

He initially denied he'd broken any rules.

In addition to missing 6 tournaments, the wrestler will have his pay halved for 6 months.

Asanoyama submitted a retirement declaration but the association has so far declined to accept it. By the time the 27-year-old returns to the ring, he will have dropped far out of the top tier.

It is a steep fall for a popular wrestler once tipped to reach the sport's pinnacle.

Just two years ago, he received "The United States President's Cup" from former US President Donald Trump when he won his first championship at the summer tournament.