Zlateva says she was offered cash to lose but said no

Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:52pm EST
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SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria's retired double Olympic wrestling silver medalist Stanka Zlateva said on Sunday she was once offered cash to lose a world championship final but had refused to do so.

"I was offered money at a world championship but for me, it’s much more important to win," Zlateva, who retired this month, told Bulgarian national television. "No matter how much money they would offer."

She did not say who 'they' were or give details.

Zlateva, competing in the 72kg-category, was five-times a world champion and also won six European titles and Olympic silver medals in Beijing in 2008 and London four years later. She also competed at the Athens 2004 Games.

Zlateva was one of the most successful Bulgarian female athletes in the last decade and was named the Balkan country's sportsperson of the year three times between 2007 and 2011.

"There was nothing out of it," added the 32-year-old, who decided to retire after failing to recover from a back injury. "I didn’t even consider accepting it.

"They didn’t offer me a concrete sum. They came to me and asked me if I would lose (the final)."

Zlateva's disclosure comes only a few days after world tennis was rocked by allegations that the game's authorities have failed to deal with widespread match-fixing.

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov, editing by Alan Baldwin)

Bulgaria's Stanka Zlateva celebrates with the Bulgarian flag as she takes gold in the women's 75 kg category of the Wrestling European Championships in Vantaa, April 4, 2014. REUTERS/Timo Jaakonaho/Lehtikuva