Olympic taekwondo star opened brothel to fund London 2012 trip

New Zealander Logan Campbell denies he was a 'pimp' – and says he changed fortunes of Kiwi taekwondo

LAST UPDATED AT 11:57 ON Fri 3 Aug 2012

A NEW ZEALANDER was so desperate to fund his dream to compete in the London 2012 Olympics that he opened a brothel in his native Auckland, it has emerged.

Logan Campbell will be competing in the men's under-68kg weight division the Olympic taekwondo tournament. He is currently ranked 12th in the world.

However, after Campbell, 26, lost his bid for Olympic glory in Beijing in 2008, he was too strapped for cash to take his career to the next level and train full-time.

So in 2009, to make the $200,000 he needed to go to London, he opened a 14-room brothel in Auckland.

Campbell is now reluctant to talk about this aspect of his career, but told Yahoo Sports he wants to repudiate the perception that he was a pimp selling women on a street corner. New Zealand decriminalised prostitution in 2003.

"I sold the brothel so I don't really want to talk about it now, OK?” he said. "It's a legal business in New Zealand. It's completely different from other countries in the world... No one was forced into the industry, and they're not doing it because they are in poverty because we have a really good welfare system.

"It's more of a higher-class thing than you see around the world."

Campbell says he sold the brothel less than two years after opening it, but by then the publicity he had garnered in the media had changed his fortunes and those of his sport beyond recognition.

One company contributed more than $100,000 to New Zealand taekwondo.

"As soon as I was in the media and stuff – we had never had funding, ever, EVER in the history of taekwondo, and all of a sudden it was, like, bam! There was this funding so it was sweet," said Campbell. · 

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