Numerous reports indicate Russian World champion and leader Adlan Varaev missing and feared dead

By Various sources | May 04, 2016, 5:48 p.m. (ET)
Images of Adlan Vareav from

Numerous media reports from Russia have indicated that 1987 World champion and 1988 Olympic silver medalist Adlan Varaev of Russia has fallen into a river in the Chechnya region of Russia and is missing and feared dead. Varaev, 54, has been a Vice-President of the Russian Wrestling federation and active on the international scene.

Wrestling fans may remember Varaev as American Kenny Monday’s opponent in the 1988 Olympic Games gold medal match in Seoul, South Korea at 74 kg in men’s freestyle. Monday scored a takedown in overtime to win the gold medal in a memorable match.

In addition, Varaev defeated U.S. wrestling legend Dave Schultz in the finals of the 1987 World Championships in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Vareav was also a 1986 World bronze medalist and won European gold medals in 1986, 1987 and 1988.

Russian media is reporting that Varaev fell into the Argun river in the Shatoysky region of Chechnya. Reportedly hundreds of people are conducting a search for Varaev which has been unsuccessful to this time.

There is no information currently available on Varaev on the Russian Wrestling Federation website. Russian Wrestling Federation President Michail Mamiashvili has confirmed in a variety of media reports in Russia that he is missing and that an extensive search is underway for him, asking people worldwide to pray for him.

He is a hero not only in Russia, but in his native Chechnya region, where he is recognized in the Russian press as the first Chechan to win an Olympic wrestling medal.

International wrestling fans may remember Varaev from his many trips to international wrestling events around the world, including some held in the United States, as part of the Russian wrestling delegation. He has been known as an outgoing individual within wrestling circles.

Additional information will be posted as received.