Asashoryu should go home: doctor

Kyodo News

The chief doctor of the Japan Sumo Association medical clinic said Monday that it is preferable for yokozuna Asashoryu to return to Mongolia in order to recover from his current state of emotional breakdown.

News photoYokozuna Asashoryu, shown visiting Yasukuni Shrine in April 2006, for a ceremonial ritual match, is suffering from an emotional breakdown.

Hiroyuki Yoshida said Asashoryu has been diagnosed with dissociative disorder based on examinations conducted Sunday by the doctor appointed by the JSA, adding he has conveyed the latest diagnosis of the grand champion to his stable master Takasago.

“It’s desirable that he returns to Mongolia at an early date and I have told this to elder Takasago,” Yoshida said.

According to Yoshida, Asashoryu was under less stress than when he was diagnosed with a form of acute stress nearly two weeks ago but showed little response to questions by him and other doctors.

Yoshida said Asashoryu began taking tranquilizers on Saturday.

Takasago, however, is sticking with his policy of having Asashoryu receive treatment in Japan.

“He should be hospitalized or see a doctor regularly in Japan first of all. It’s a decision that has been made by the sumo association’s executive committee,” Takasago said.

“Then he can go back to Mongolia for recuperation if he wants to.”

JSA Chairman Kitanoumi also denied that the association will allow Asashoryu to return to Mongolia soon and mentioned the punitive measure imposed on him for playing soccer in his home country after opting to skip a regional summer tour citing injuries.

“That’s what we decided on at our executive committee,” Kitanoumi said, suggesting that the JSA has no intention of lifting the punishment slapped on the yokozuna on Aug. 1.

“As for medical treatment on him, we will handle the matter appropriately in line with doctors’ instructions,” Kitanoumi added.

Asashoryu’s illness surfaced shortly after the JSA took punitive measures against him, which include barring him from competing in the grand sumo tournaments in September and November, as well as a salary cut.

The JSA took the unprecedentedly harsh punitive action against a grand champion after it was discovered he had played in a charity soccer match in Mongolia after submitting a medical certificate to the association and obtained permission to skip the regional tour.