In a press conference held earlier today the KHL announced that the results of the public prosecutor’s inquiry into the cause of Alexei Cherepanov’s death — which were originally scheduled to be released today — have been delayed so that additional medical personnel can study the case.
“The Office of the Public Prosecutor believes that further investigation into the death of Alexei Cherepanov is necessary,” KHL Vice President Vladimir Shalaev explained during the press conference. “They were not satisfied with the conclusion of the forensic examination. Representatives from other branches of medicine, who will analyze this case deeply and thoroughly, will be added to this group.”
“Because of this it is currently impossible to name the cause of Alexei Cherepanov’s death with certainty,” Shalaev continued. “However, it has already been established that fault was not found in either the first aid squad or the personnel of Avangard. They acted correctly and did everything they could. The absence of the ambulance and necessary equipment were not found to be a direct causal effect of Alexei’s death.”
Shalaev added that punishment handed out to those who were found to be responsible for the lack of appropriate medical equipment — namely the director of the Vityaz hockey club and the director of the arena in Chekhov, both of whom have been removed from their positions and banned from future work with the league — would not be rescinded. “That does not mean that disciplinary penalties will be removed from the people who admitted negligence,” he concluded.
The full results of the investigation are now expected to be released at the end of the month.
UPDATE: An expanded version of the KHL’s press release was put out later in the day, including an English version which was sent to various media outlets in North America. See Yahoo! Sports for the AP’s write-up. That release also included details of the medical examinations performed on the 67 KHL players who are 19-years old and younger. Of note is Shalaev’s comment that “one or two young hockey players may have significant health concerns and may have to change their careers”, contradicting what a director at the center that performed the medical exams said earlier in the week.
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