MOSCOW (AP) — One of two men detained in Kazakhstan on suspicion of killing Olympic figure skating medalist Denis Ten has confessed, authorities said Friday.
Prosecutor Berik Zhuyrektayev said in a televised statement that Nuraly Kiyasov “confessed his guilt in the presence of an attorney” while being questioned over the 25-year-old skater’s death Thursday in the Kazakh city of Almaty.
The prosecutor didn’t give further details of what exactly Kiyasov had said.
Police have also detained 23-year-old Arman Kudaibergenov in connection with Ten’s death, which has prompted national mourning. Authorities released a picture of the disheveled-looking man being held by masked men wearing body armor and camouflage uniforms.
Ten was stabbed after a dispute with people who allegedly tried to steal a mirror from his car in his home city of Almaty. He died in hospital of massive blood loss from multiple wounds, the Kazinform news agency said.
Prosecutors are treating his death as murder.
Kazinform reported that Kiyasov was taken to the scene of the crime under heavy security Friday as part of the investigation.
Ten’s bronze in Sochi in 2014 made him Kazakhstan’s first Olympic medalist in figure skating. He also won the Four Continents Championships in 2015 and was a world silver medalist in 2013.
He struggled with injuries in recent years and could only finish 27th at the PyeongChang Olympics.
Ten had been working on a script in recent months which the Kazakh-Russian director Timur Bekmambetov said Friday would now be turned into a movie.
“We’re definitely going to try to realize his idea and shoot a film dedicated to this multi-talented person,” Bekmambetov said in comments released by Kazakhstan’s embassy to Russia. “In his 25 years, Ten managed to do very much and had grand plans which he would surely have put into practice because he was a real hard worker.”
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Denis Ten, the 2014 Olympic figure skating bronze medalist from Kazakhstan, died after he reportedly was stabbed in Almaty on Thursday.
The International Skating Union and the Kazah Olympic Committee confirmed Ten’s death.
Ten, 25, competed in three Olympics and earned world championships silver and bronze medals in 2013 and 2015.
At 16, Ten was the youngest men’s competitor at Vancouver 2010 and finished 11th in his Olympic debut; he was also only the second singles skater Kazakhstan had ever sent to the Olympics.
Ten made unexpected history in 2013, becoming the first skater from Kazakhstan to win a world championships medal. After experiencing health setbacks at the start of his 2014 Olympic season, he was the biggest question mark among the top men in Sochi, but he surprised by becoming the first skater from Kazakhstan to earn an Olympic medal.
Ten struggled through health issues leading into his last Olympics in PyeongChang, where he placed 27th. Those Winter Games were nonetheless special to Ten, who was of South Korean descent; his great-grandfather was a famous general who fought for Korean independence, and there is a statue and memorial dedicated to him in Wonju, a town 35 miles southwest of PyeongChang.
Ten also played a significant role as an ambassador for his hometown Almaty’s bid for the 2022 Winter Games. Beijing got the Games over Almaty in an IOC members vote in 2015.
NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.
ASTANA, Kazakhstan (AP) — Kazakhstan says three medalists are among six of its athletes disqualified from previous Olympics over doping.
The country’s national Olympic committee said in a statement that weightlifters Irina Nekrasova and Maria Grabovetskaya, who won silver and bronze medals respectively at Beijing 2008, and bronze medal-winning wrestler Aset Mambetov, were retroactively disqualified following retests of drug-test samples they gave at those games.
The Kazakhstan Olympic committee said it had received confirmation from the International Olympic Committee that “traces of banned substances were found” in the athletes’ samples.
The International Weightlifting Federation has previously said the Grabovetskaya and Nekrasova cases concerned various anabolic steroids, with Grabovetskaya testing positive for three different banned substances in a single sample. Wrestling authorities have not said what was found in Mambetov’s sample.
Grabovetskaya and Mambetov were quoted in Kazakh media as saying they will refuse to return their medals because they don’t consider themselves guilty of doping.
There are also retrospective disqualifications from the 2008 games for weightlifters Vladimir Sedov and Maiya Maneza, while another weightlifter, Almas Uteshov, has been scratched from the 2012 Olympics.
Kazakhstan has one of the worst records of any country in the retests carried out this year by the IOC, having already been stripped of three gold medals last month in earlier doping cases.
The retesting program has led to at least 98 positive tests from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, many of them down to recent advances in techniques for detecting steroids.
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