The Kontinental Hockey League's Vice-President of Hockey Operations Vladimir Shalaeva and the KHL's Head of Health Programs Peter Lidova addressed media today to announce results of the investigation into the death of Alexei Cherepanov.
''Today November 14, 2008, there was a move to close the criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Aleksei Cherepanov, however the prosecutor ordered that the criminal investigation continue.'' said Shalaev. ''A comprehensive forensic study, conducted by additional medical specialists is underway to more deeply and thoroughly analyze the case. We will not be able to share the cause of death of Alexei Cherepanov until this examination is completed in full.''
Preliminary findings found no fault committed by the emergency medical personnel at the Sports Palace in Chekhov, or by the doctors who provided first aid to Cherepanov.
''They acted professionally and did everything they could. The absence of special medical equipment in the arena was not the cause of death of this hockey player,'' said Shalaev. ''This does not mean, however, that the charges pending will be dismissed nor does it mean that there will be no disciplinary action against these individuals. The KHL acted appropriately and within its bounds in imposing sanctions against the Vityaz club director and other officials involved in this tragic accident.''
The league also released results of the examinations of young KHL players during the launch of the KHL Medical Passport program.
During the November break in the KHL competition schedule, 67 KHL players under the age of 20 were examined. The examinations uncovered concerns with the health of five athletes.
''Of this group, it appears that one or two young hockey players may have significant health concerns and may have to change their careers,'' said Shalaev. ''This will be a big disappointment to them, but that is the nature of professional sports. The KHL has an obligation to these young men not to endanger their health in any way.''