Two-time Olympic medallist arrested over death of fellow athlete

·Sports Editor
·2-min read
Sushil Kumar, pictured here after winning silver at the 2012 Olympics.
Sushil Kumar (L) after winning silver at the 2012 Olympics. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Indian Olympic hero Sushil Kumar has been arrested after a week-long manhunt in connection with the murder of a fellow athlete.

The two-time Olympic wrestling medallist went into hiding after 24-year-old Sagar Dhankad was badly beaten during a brawl between two groups of wrestlers at a stadium in New Delhi on May 4.

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Dhankad, a former junior champion who was training as a senior wrestler, later died in hospital.

Delhi police have since confirmed that Kumar was arrested early on Sunday in the northwest of the Indian capital.

"They were switching their location when they were arrested," a police officer told AFP.

"We have recorded statements of all the victims and they all made allegations against Sushil Kumar."

Police had offered a reward of 100,000 rupees ($1772) for information leading to the arrest of the 37-year-old star after two of Dhankad's associates injured in the fight named Kumar as one of the attackers.

"We have maintained from the first day that [Mr Kumar] should join the police probe, and present his case," Delhi Police Deputy Commissioner Chinmoy Biswal previously said.

"If he hadn't gone on the run there wouldn't have been any warrants or reward for his arrest."

Sushil Kumar, pictured here in the custody of Delhi Police.
Sushil Kumar in the custody of Delhi Police. (Photo by Arvind Yadav/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Sushil Kumar accuses police of biased investigation

Kumar has since released a statement via his lawyers claiming his innocence and accusing police of a biased investigation.

The 34-year-old is viewed as one of India's finest sportsmen, carrying the flag at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics in London.

He is the only Indian athlete to win two individual Olympic medals - a freestyle wrestling bronze at the 2008 Games in Beijing and silver at the London Games four years later.

He represented India in numerous international competitions and won three Commonwealth Games gold medals.

He also won gold at the World Wrestling Championships in Moscow in 2010.

In 2009 he was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna - India's highest honour for athletes.

with agencies

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