Page last updated at 15:33 GMT, Monday, 28 December 2009

Finland ski star Nykanen arrested over Christmas attack

Matti Nykanen performing in the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, February 1984
Nykanen's wins included a gold medal at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics

A four-time Olympic ski jump champion is being investigated for an alleged Christmas Day knife attack on his wife, Finnish police say.

Finnish legend Matti Nykanen, 46, was arrested after an incident that left his wife with head and hand injuries.

Police said the man known as the flying Finn was suspected of trying to stab Mervi Tapola and then strangle her.

Ms Tapola is reported to have fled their joint home and called police from a neighbour's house.

Mr Nykanen, who won three gold medals at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, was released on Monday after charges for attempted manslaughter were dropped.

But police say he could still be charged with aggravated assault.

His skiing achievements included winning gold and silver medals at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics aged 21. He won five gold medals at world championships and 13 at Finnish championships.

Since quitting the competition circuit in the 1990s, however, Mr Nykanen has continued to make headlines for reported alcohol abuse, working as a musical performer and male stripper, and convictions for assault.

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