MOSCOW – Blood and urine samples show hockey star Alexei Cherepanov engaged in blood doping, Russian investigators said in a statement Monday.
Cherepanov, 19, collapsed Oct. 13 while on the bench for Omsk club Avangard in Russia’s Continental Hockey League, known as the KHL. The player, a top prospect for the NHL’s New York Rangers, died shortly afterwards.
Russia’s federal Investigative Committee said a chemical analysis of the samples allowed experts to conclude “that for several months Alexei Cherepanov engaged in blood doping.” There was no elaboration, and a spokeswoman at the committee refused to comment further.
The statement also said Cherepanov in his final year suffered from myocarditis, a condition where not enough blood gets to the heart, and should not have been playing professional hockey.
The club’s medical team might carry legal liability in the episode, the statement added.
“A row of gross violations was committed by the medical brigade helping A. Cherepanov,” the statement said. Among them, doctors arrived on the scene a full 12 minutes after Cherepanov collapsed, and the battery on the defibrillator to attempt shock Cherepanov’s heart back into life was drained, the statement said.
Prosecutors earlier this month accused the club’s director of negligence. Mikhail Denisov has since been fired, and Monday’s statement did not mention him.