Bad boy Asashoryu to retire -- media

TOKYO (Reuters) - Troubled sumo grand champion Asashoryu has announced his retirement, Japanese media reported on Thursday, after a probe into reports of a drunken scuffle in Tokyo last month.

"Thank you for everything, I will retire," Kyodo news agency quoted the 29-year-old as saying.

The Japan Sumo Association (JSA) on Tuesday ordered an investigation following reports that Asashoryu had allegedly broken a man's nose in an incident outside a nightclub last month.

The head of Asashoryu's sumo stable told Japanese media at the weekend that the Mongolian grand champion had been too drunk to remember the incident.

Asashoryu won his 25th Emperor's Cup last month, but sumo officials said he would face punishment if the reports were proven. The JSA had said it would reach a decision by Thursday.

Asashoryu has been dogged by controversy during his colourful career, for everything from pulling an opponent's hair to starting a soapy bathroom brawl during a post-bout soak.

In 2007, he was banned after being caught playing soccer in Mongolia, having forged a doctor's note for a back injury.

(Reporting by Dan Sloan; Editing by Ian Ransom;

Source:Reuters News Agency


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