India’s first multiple individual Olympic medalist in 112 years, wreslter Sushil Kumar, said he was approached to throw the final of the 2010 World Championships against a Russian.
“A member of my entourage came up to me and said, ‘Sushil, kushti ki liye keh rahe hai (They want to talk about the bout)’,” Kumar told the Times of India. “When he explained the whole thing, I was aghast. The money offered was around a good few crores. For a wrestler, it was really good money. The offer was communicated to one of our foreign coaches.”
The 2010 World Championships were held in Moscow, and the report said Russians made the offer. Three crores amounted to more than $500,000 by 2010 exchange rates.
“I said, ‘It’s very strange,'” Kumar told the newspaper. “Here, we are on the threshold of getting the winning belt home to India, and I’m supposed to tank the final?'”
Kumar, now 30, beat Russian Alan Gogaev 3-1 in the 66-kilogram freestyle final, the only gold medal India has ever won at worlds. He went on to win silver at the 2012 Olympics, following up his bronze at the 2008 Olympics.
Wrestling is up for a vote to remain in the Olympics come 2020. The International Olympic Committee will choose one sport out of baseball/softball, karate and wrestling for inclusion in the 2020 Games in Buenos Aires next month.