Inquiry Into Death of Cherepanov

Alexei Cherepanov was buried in Omsk on Wednesday, after the 19-year-old hockey player collapsed while playing for Avangard Omsk in a Monday night game in Chekhov, in the Moscow region.

Thousands of people filed past Cherepanov's coffin to pay their respects in the city's hockey arena prior to the burial service, Interfax reported.

The official coroner's report listed the cause of death as acute heart failure, said Vladimir Shalayev, vice president of the Continental Hockey League, RIA-Novosti reported. Shalayev said the autopsy revealed that Cherepanov had an enlarged heart, weighing 495 grams, where the norm is 290 grams.

The Prosecutor General's Office's Investigative Committee has opened an investigation into the player's death. A statement on its web site said it would look at the actions of the league and officials at the arena in Chekhov, as well as the team's medical staff.

State Duma deputies also asked the legislature's Public Health committee to investigate the possibility of inadequate medical facilities and care at the game, Interfax reported. Reports on Tuesday had said that, contrary to league regulations, there had been no ambulance present at the arena.

Avangard Omsk general manager Anatoly Bardin, meanwhile, said the team would sue Moscow region Health Minister Vladimir Semyonov over comments he made Tuesday that Cherepanov had a serious heart condition and shouldn't have been allowed to play, Interfax reported. Bardin called Semyonov's statement "complete nonsense," adding that Cherepanov had undergone a physical on July 1, including a cardiogram, and that he had "never complained about his health."

Calls to the Omsk team's press office went unanswered Wednesday.

The Continental Hockey League received reports on the circumstances surrounding Cherepanov's death from both teams on Wednesday, a league spokesman said. A league commission was investigating the incident, but none of its findings have been made public yet, the spokesman said Wednesday.