Olympic gold medalist Sadulaev gets COVID-19

Abdulrashid Sadulaev after winning a world title in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan (Photo/Tony Rotundo,

Olympic champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev has revealed that he is infected by the coronavirus.

Sadulaev, arguably the world's top pound-for-pound freestyle wrestler, shared the news on an Instagram video.

Sadulaev won the gold medal in freestyle at 86 kilograms at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. He went undefeated at the senior international level for nearly four years from 2013 until 2017, when he was beaten by American Kyle Snyder in a world championships final dubbed the "Match of the Century." He came back to win world titles in 2018 and 2019.

The Dagestan wrestling superstar admitted that he did not take the pandemic seriously and got infected. "I admit like most of my countrymen I too did not attach importance to the coronavirus," Sadulaev. "We really underestimated the disease, we began to feel its danger and threat only when it knocked on our door. I myself transferred it."

Sadulaev has now recovered from the infection, and has urged the public to responsibly approach the threat, and adhere to the recommendations of doctors and specialists. He has also asked to keep social distancing and minimize contacts during the Uraza-Bayram holiday.

The "Russian Tank" is at least the second known 2016 Olympic champion wrestler to test positive for COVID-19. Greco-Roman Olympic gold medalist Ismael Borrero of Cuba also tested positive.


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les (1) about 6 months ago
It takes Intermatwrestling to tell us about someone who's had it and recovered. Hope he's doing well. Folks are going to get it but we also have to hear that people can recover.