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Organizer Sentenced Over 'Zorb' Death

The first zorb sites were founded in New Zealand David Maisel

The owner of an extreme sports attraction that killed a tourist at a mountain resort in the North Caucasus this January has been given a four-year suspended sentence and put on probation for two years.

At the mountain sports resort of Dombai on Jan. 3, Stavropol resident Denis Burakov, 27, and his friend Vladimir Shcherbov, 33, decided to take a turn in a Zorb, an inflatable two-layered ball with a space in the center for someone to ride in.

The Zorb, with both Burakov and Shcherbov inside it, was sent rolling down a track lined with barriers made from piled-up snow. The ball was intended to stop at the bottom of the track, but instead it went off course and plunged down a ravine before eventually stopping on a frozen lake 1 kilometer away, RIA Novosti reported.

The free fall broke Burakov's neck and killed him, while Shcherbov was hospitalized with multiple injuries including a concussion.

In addition to the suspended sentence, Chekunov will have to pay 500,000 rubles ($15,500) compensation to Burakov's mother for inflicting moral damage, a spokesman for the republic of Karachayevo-Cherkessia's Supreme Court said Friday.

The defendant had pleaded guilty to the charges of criminal negligence causing death and the court's spokesman said that Chekunov wouldn't appeal the decision.

A second defendant in the case, a local 20-year-old whose name was not given, was cleared of involvement in the incident.

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