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Russian Judo champion killed during fight at cafe

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The judoka’s body was discovered with fatal stab wounds in his head and back. 

A judo champion was killed in broad daylight during a fight at a cafe in the city of Togliatti, Russia.

Evgeny Kushnir, 27, was found dead in a pool of blood at the cafe while his friend was hospitalized with various injuries. It was later reported that the two men came into conflict with an unknown gang, which resulted in Kushnir being killed.

The Investigative Committee of Russia in the Samara region launched a criminal investigation into the murder and arrested several suspects.

Kushnir was a respected regional champion in Judo, having earned the the title of Master of Sports in Judo. In 2019, Kushnir became the champion of the Samara region in the 81kg division.

Kushnir’s death is not the first tragic incident involving combat sports athletes in recent years. Yury Vlasko, a Master of Sports in wrestling, was stabbed to death during a mass brawl in Buryatia in July 2017. An MMA fighter was jailed for 18 years for killing a weightlifter in a street-fight, while another was killed after allegedly picking a fight with a security guard.