Former komusubi Abi was suspended for three tournaments and had his pay halved for five months for breaking guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Japan Sumo Association announced Thursday.

The JSA's board of directors, however, declined to accept the 26-year-old's resignation over breaking the rules at the recently completed July Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan. Instead, they essentially suspended him for six months.

The Shikoroyama stable grappler, whose real name is Kosuke Horikiri, started the 15-day event as a No. 5 maegashira, but was withdrawn on the seventh day by his stablemaster after it was revealed he had gone out to hostess bars with another wrestler from a different stable.