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A professional Russian MMA fighter with no history serious health problems reportedly was found dead in his apartment by a family member.
Alexander Pisarev, 33, was rushed to the hospital, according to some sources, along with his wife, who remains hospitalized, on October 30 after his father found him.
“Alexander Pisarev died in his sleep and did not have any chronic health problems,” a member of the featherweight’s Tomahawk team told Russian news agency TASS. “According to preliminary data, death was the result of food poisoning.”
The Daily Mail reported that some local news stations reported that Pisarev died from food poisoning after eating a watermelon, while others suggested that he died from an opioid overdose.
“I looked into the room — Alexander and his wife were sleeping,” Igor Vladimirovich, Pisarev’s father, told a Russian newspaper. “I came closer and then realized that my son was no longer breathing. There were fractures of the fingers after the last fights, but this is nothing. We all eat the same food, we live together.”
Russian officials have since launched an investigation into the cause of Pisarev’s death.
“In Balashikha, an investigation was organized into the death of an athlete as a result of poisoning,” the Moscow Region Investigative Committee said in a statement. “Investigators, with the participation of a forensic specialist, are conducting an additional inspection of the scene, confiscating items relevant to the investigation, and planning a forensic chemical examination.”
Pisarev’s Tomahawk team later confirmed the athlete’s death in a statement, but did not list a cause or give any further details.
“My brother, my friend, my student! Words cannot express the extent of the loss. Alexander Pisarev is the standard of friendship, decency and courage of a Russian person,” the statement, posted on VKontakte, said. “I and we will miss you!!! Rest in peace our brother.”