Star alleges bribe approach
India’s two-time Olympic medal-winning wrestler Sushil Kumar told a newspaper yesterday that he was offered money to lose a world championship title bout in 2010 in Moscow. Kumar 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 US$150,000. “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. Kumar went on to beat Gogayev 3-1 in the final. “It was not a matter of two or four crores, it was a matter of honor.” Indian Wrestling Federation secretary-general Raj Singh said that Kumar had not reported the offer at the 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.
‘Bison’ upset at pig insult
A player in Belgium has demanded a public apology and damages from a television commentator who described him as being “fat as a pig.” Charleroi issued a statement on behalf of striker Harlem Gnohere, commonly known as “Bison,” saying TV presenter Stephane Pauwels had contacted the club to offer his apologies. Pauwels told viewers during Charleroi’s 2-1 defeat by KV Kortrijk on Saturday: “Bison is fat as a pig. He is 15kg too heavy and he’s going nowhere.” Gnohere said he was seeking advice from a lawyer because the comments were totally unacceptable. In a statement from the club, Gnohere demanded that any apology should be made in public. He said he would drop potential charges if Pauwels also made a sizeable donation to a children’s charity. Pauwels has since responded by saying on Twitter: “Harsh, yes, that’s football. OK, I should have said ‘a few too many kilos’. My apologies to Bison.”
Lee advised to curb schedule
World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei faced calls yesterday to reduce his rigorous playing schedule if he wants to extend his career to the 2016 Olympics. The 30-year-old was stretchered from the court during this month’s world championships final against Lin Dan with cramp and dehydration, in the latest heartbreaking defeat to his nemesis. However, Lee, still without a world or Olympic title despite consistently topping the rankings, was back playing in the lucrative new Indian Badminton League (IBL) just days later. “He should not participate in too many tournaments,” said Zolkples Embong, Malaysia’s national sports council director-general, adding that Lee should focus on the Olympics and next year’s Asian Games.
Duo share Gleneagles lead
Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger and Argentine Ricardo Gonzalez secured a share of the lead after the opening round of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in Scotland on Thursday. The pair carded seven under par rounds of 65 over the Centenary Course to lead by one from Australian Brett Rumford, Spain’s Ignacio Garrido, Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee and English trio Oliver Fisher, Ross Fisher and Mark Foster.