In his 11-year career, sumo wrestler Asashoryu stomped out record-breaking wins to become the undisputed champion of the past decade. Yet his reign was littered with scandals that floored the traditional sport, where athletes are expected to act with decorum both in and out of the ring.

Born in 1980 in Mongolia, Asashoryu became the sport's 68th yokozuna, or grand champion, claiming 25 tournament victories before announcing, while still in his prime, his retirement Thursday amid allegations that he engaged in an injurious drunken brawl outside a Tokyo nightclub.

Asashoryu, 29, whose real name is Dolgorsuren Dagvadorj, entered his first "basho" (tournament) in 1999 and quickly tore through the ranks. By winning the November 2002 tourney, he equaled then-yokozuna Takanohana's modern-day record for quickest tournament victory, clinching his first one in just 24 bouts.