An ex-New York Ranger Russian hockey prospect -- Aleksey Cherepanov -- dropped dead at an extraordinarily young age in October. An inquiry in to the 19 year-old's death revealed 2 pertinent issues (according to RT Sports):
- The report says that Cherepanov 'used stimulants'
- The hockey player suffered from myocarditis
Young ice hockey star Aleksey Cherepanov, who died of a heart attack during a game in October, had been taking performance enhancing drugs. That’s according to a report by the Investigation Committee of the Prosecutor General's Office. The 19-year-old collapsed during a Continental Hockey League (KHL) game in the Moscow region.
The official statement of the investigation committee says:
"No traces of alcohol or drugs were found in his blood and urine, however, tests for chemicals showed that Aleksey Cherepanov had been using stimulants for several months."
It was also discovered that Cherepanov, nicknamed the Siberian Express, was suffering from chronic myocarditis, which meant he should not have been playing sport. According to a post-mortem examination, the sportsman developed the disease approximately a year before his death.
There seems to be confusion in the Western press reportage. The New York Times reports that no drugs were named; the Russian Times clearly says stimulants. Stimulants can rarely be involved in cardiac events, in say a vulnerable heart.
The Times also reports that myocarditis 'does not allow enough blood to reach the heart'. Really?
Myocarditis means inflammation of the cardiac muscle (which is all of it, as the heart is one large muscle). The word ending means inflammation, perhaps due to a virus, or even due to a connective tissue disorder. Myocarditis could be bacterial, or parasitic, or allergic, or...you get it due to something that inflames the heart. And saying the heart was inflamed says nothing about blood flow. (where did the Times get this idea?).
To simplify the issue, the heart becomes inflamed, which causes a number of problems. One would be enlargement of the organ. When the heart enlarges it actually stretches the fibers that cause contraction. The heart becomes less effective at pumping thus leading to failure...heart failure. It is like the apparatus became stretch, flabby, and weak. This condition often leads to a heart transplant.
The other issue in myocarditis would be electrical changes, reflected in the EKG. This would cause electrical irritability, and sudden death due to an arrhythmia. Boula! A viral myocarditis is a frequent issue in young adult sudden cardiac death.
Investigators in Russia said Monday that Alexei Cherepanov, who was the Rangers’ first-round pick in the 2007 draft, used performance-enhancing drugs for several months before he died during a Russian league game in October.
They also said that Cherepanov, 19, should not have been playing professional hockey because he had myocarditis, a condition that does not allow enough blood to reach the heart...
The federal Investigative Committee in Russia said in a statement that experts concluded from analysis of blood and urine samples that Cherepanov had “engaged in doping” for several months. A spokeswoman for the committee refused to specify which drugs were found in Cherepanov’s system.
We would not be so quick to say that myocarditis absolutely rules out athletic competition. It's complicated, and one must exert caution, but nothing is absolute...like Lance Armstrong not fathering a child without sperm.
The Russian athlete could have suffered from something as common as a cold which affected his heart. A Stimulant might have exacerbated the condition. On the other hand a drug can cause myocarditis.
The Russian press reports other problems:
The investigation also found that: "the paramedics called in for Cherepanov committed a number of gross violations”.
The report says they “arrived 12 minutes after the call and did not have a properly charged defibrillator. In addition, the brigade's chief doctor wrongly diagnosed a ‘natural death’.”
The Omsk Avangard forward was one of the most promising hockey stars in Russia. A first-round draft pick of the New York Rangers, Cherepanov was expected to move to National Hockey League.
One just cannot emphasize enough that stimulants, and steroids, and HGH, and EPO are DAMN DANGEROUS. Don't believe the soft peddlers who essentially want an athletes to believe these drugs are like downing jelly-beans. Dangerous in particular persons. (that is a diseased heart on the right; it's ugly)