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Thursday, May 22, 2003

JSA warns yokozuna over bad behavior

Yokozuna Asashoryu has been given a stiff warning about his recent disreputable behavior in the sacred ring, Japan Sumo Association officials said Wednesday.

The 22-year-old Mongolian native, known for his often truculent and stormy nature, was issued a warning by former Yokozuna council chief Tsuneo Watanabe after glaring at countryman Kyokushuzan and trying to contest a loss on Monday at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

"His actions were lacking in the decent attitude of a grand champion," said Watanabe. "If he continues to do such things in the ring, I will have to advise the council chief. He must be warned."

After Kyokushuzan was named the winner of the bout, Asashoryu pointed outside the ring, suggesting the third-ranked maegashira had stepped out of bounds and apparently bumped the shoulder of his compatriot when exiting.

"This is something that Asashoryu must take very seriously," said JSA chairman Kitanoumi.

"But on the other hand, if he worries too much about maintaining decency as a yokozuna, he may lose some of his craftiness in fighting."

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