Alexei Cherepanov’s Mysterious Death
Cherepanov died because of a heart condition, but are Russian authorities telling the complete story?
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Alexei Cherepanov collapsed and died during a Continental Hockey League game near Moscow. The first round pick of the New York Rangers in the NHL died only a while ago, but theories about his death are already spreading like wildfire.
According to a regional investigator, Yulia Zhukova, “Checks will be conducted to clarify, in particular, why the sportsman, with such an illness, went on to the ice”. So Zhukov is suggesting that Cherepanov should not have gone onto the ice to begin with.
According to Pavel Krasheninnikov, a member of the Russian Hockey Federation’s supervisory council and is also a DUMA member, “There are elements of negligence here”. On whom? Paramedics? Or the Russian Hockey Federation? Krasheninnikov later contended that it took emergency personnel too long to respond and they didn’t have a defibrillator.
According to Vladimir Shalayev, managing director of the new Russian League, said that that Cherepanov had an “atrophied heart”, adding that “It has nothing to do with yesterday’s game. There were no injuries. He was not injured during this game”. There were no injuries, but this was worse. A young man lost his life.
According to sports minister Vitaly Mutko, “A person should not be allowed to take part in competition if he has ischemic heart disease. This means that in fact there is no preliminary health control and monitoring. And this system should be very well defined”. It’s easy to look back on this tragedy in hindsight and reflect on what should have been done, but for this young man, it’s too late.
According to Cherepanov’s agent, Jay Grossman in a statement to The Associated Press, “It was really kind of a surreal thing for the players. He was skating in a 2-on-1 with Jaromir and then they came back to the bench. Jaromir was talking to him and he told him (that) he has to score on that play. The next thing you know, he collapsed. (Jagr) went with him into the dressing room and they revived him for some time and then he didn’t make it”.
Cherepanov was picked seventeenth by the New York Rangers in the 2007 NHL Draft. He could have gone higher, but there were difficulties about whether or not he could sign a contract with a US club and there were also issues about how soon he could leave Russia, given the strained relationship between Washington and Moscow.