Doctors 'not to blame for death of Russian ice-hockey star'

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MOSCOW, November 14 (RIA Novosti) - Medical personnel were not to blame for the death of one of Russian's ice hockey brightest talents after a match near Moscow last month, the Continental Hockey League said in a statement on Friday.

Alexei Cherepanov, 19, collapsed on October 13 on the substitutes' bench after falling on the ice during a Continental Hockey League game in the Moscow Region town of Chekhov. He was then taken to a local hospital, but died later that evening of a heart failure.

The statement said that neither doctors from Cherepanov's Avangard club, nor the doctors who arrived in an ambulance after his collapse were to blame for his death.

Investigators at Russia's Prosecutor General's Office are currently looking into the tragedy.

Vladimir Markin, who heads the investigation committee, earlier promised an evaluation of the actions of "the Avangard club, the organizers of the match, and the medical personnel who provided medical assistance" after a "thorough probe" into the events of October 13.

Cherepanov collapsed in the 57th minute of a match between Avangard, from the West Siberian city of Omsk, and the Moscow Region club, Vityaz Chekhov.

Nicknamed the Siberian Express, Cherepanov was born in Russia's Altai Territory, in the city of Barnaul, on January 15, 1989. He had played two seasons as a professional, beating in March 2007 the Russia league goal-scoring record for rookies previously held by the legendary Pavel Bure.

He was expected to follow in Bure's footsteps and move to the National Hockey League, having been the New York Rangers' first-round pick in the 2007 NHL draft.

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