Officials: Cherepanov took PEDs

Updated: December 31, 2008, 3:35 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

MOSCOW -- New York Rangers prospect Alexei Cherepanov took performance-enhancing drugs for several months before he died during a Russian league game in October, investigators said Monday.

Investigators added that during his last year the 19-year-old player suffered from myocarditis, a condition where not enough blood gets to the heart, and should not have been playing professional hockey.

Cherepanov collapsed Oct. 13 while on the bench for the Omsk club Avangard in Russia's Continental Hockey League and died a short time later.

Russia's federal Investigative Committee said in a statement experts concluded from analysis of blood and urine samples that for several months Cherepanov "engaged in doping." A committee spokeswoman refused to specify the drugs Cherepanov allegedly took.

The committee said the club's medical team may carry legal liability, contending a "row of gross violations was committed by the medical brigade" helping Cherepanov.

"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.

Cherepanov's agent, Jay Grossman, declined comment when reached by ESPN.com.

The Rangers, through a team spokesman, also declined comment.

The KHL disciplinary committee announced Wednesday in a statement that it has requested league president Alexander Medvedev ask for the suspension of Avangard Omsk's general manager Anatoly Bardin and team president Konstantin Potapov until the investigation is complete. Also, the team's doctors have been removed from their duties.

Prosecutors this month accused the club's director of negligence. Mikhail Denisov has since been fired, and Monday's statement did not mention him.

Information from ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun and The Associated Press was included in this report

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