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Tuesday, 16 January, 2001, 13:03 GMT
Russian ice-hockey star shot dead

Another high-profile sports figure has been murdered in Russia -- the fourth in four years.

He's the ice-hockey star, Sergei Zemchyonok, who minded goal for the Metallurg team, which won the European championship in 1999 and 2000.

The twenty-four-year-old player was shot on Monday evening when he returned from training to his apartment building in the city of Magnitogorsk, in the Urals.

The motive for the killing is not clear.

The BBC Russian affairs analyst says much of the money that runs sport in Russia comes from shady business, and contract killings, robbery and extortion have become the norm. The president of the ice hockey federation and the Moscow Spartak football club's financial director were both killed in 1997, and the eighteen-year-old European junior boxing champion, Sergei Latushko, a year ago.

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