Three-time Olympic gold medalist and world champion Naim Süleymanoğlu underwent a successful liver transplant, media sources reported.
The weightlifting legend went into surgery Friday morning at Ataşehir Memorial Hospital in Istanbul, after his friend served as a liver donor.
The operation lasted about eight hours, Doğan News Agency reported.
A family member told Anadolu Agency the donor wanted to remain anonymous, adding he was chosen by medical experts out of six volunteers.
Süleymanoğlu was placed into intensive care on September 25 due to liver failure.
The now 50-year-old athlete, nicknamed "Pocket Hercules" due to his short stature, became a global star after setting six world records, winning three Olympic gold medals and out lifting the winner of the weight class above him at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.
Süleymanoğlu is the only weightlifter in history to win gold medals in three different Olympics.