World wrestling champion Mihail Ganev was stabbed in the chest, stomach and arm during an altercation in a night club in the Bulgarian town of Gabrovo, private Bulgarian television channel bTV reported on December 27 2010.

According to witnesses, a fight broke out between two groups and Ganev intervened, trying to break up the fight when a man, identified by the police as Vladimir Ivanov, aged 31, stabbed Ganev, his brother and a friend of the wrestler.

Of the three stabbed, however, Ganev was reported as the most seriously hurt. He was taken to the emergency ward in Gabrovo where doctors stabilised his condition, and the athlete's life is reportedly out of danger.

Ganev, born in January 1985, won a junior world championship in the 74 kg weight category in 2005. In his first senior appearance, at the 2006 World Wrestling Championships in Guangzhou, China, he upset legendary Russian wrestler Buvaisar Saitiev en route to a fifth-place finish.

He won the gold medal in the 84kg weight class in men's freestyle at the 2010 World Wrestling Championships held in Moscow.

His coach, Simeon Shterev told bTV that he hoped the doctors in Gabrovo did a sound job, and that he expected Ganev to make a full recovery. "All of us will support him," Shterev said.