AFP – India’s two-time Olympic medal-winning wrestler Sushil Kumar told an Indian newspaper on Friday that he was offered money to lose a world championship title bout in 2010 in Moscow.
Kumar, 30, said that he was approached through one of his team’s foreign coaches to lose the 66kg-category final against Russia’s Alan Gogayev.
“I was aghast,” Kumar was quoted as saying by The Times of India. “The money offered was around a good few crores. For a wrestler, it was really good money.”
A crore is worth about 150,000 dollars.
“The offer was communicated to one of our foreign coaches. The event was taking place in Russia and my final opponent was a Russian. ‘It’s our country so our player should win’ — that’s what they seemed to want,” he said.
“It was not a matter of two or four crores, it was a matter of honour,” he said.
Kumar went on to beat Gogayev 3-1 in the final, receiving a standing ovation from the stands.
“It was most humbling,” he said. “I have participated in four or five world championships, but the support I received in Moscow in 2010 was commendable.
“To beat a home wrestler in a country with a strong wrestling base is not an easy task.”
Indian Wrestling Federation secretary-general Raj Singh told AFP that Kumar had not reported the offer at that time, but added he would not be surprised if such an approach had been made.
“I have heard such things happen,” Singh said. “We need to be careful about this all the time.”
Kumar won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a silver in London last year, both in the 66kg category. He also won a gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.