Zenit Manager Detained on Suspicion of Beating Wife to Death

Vladimir Dolgopolov

The manager of St. Petersburg's Zenit football club stands accused of having beaten his wife to death, police said Tuesday.

Vladimir Dolgopolov, 53, is believed to have attacked his wife during a domestic dispute last Thursday. She succumbed to her injuries at the scene, the regional Investigative Committee said in an online statement.

LifeNews, a tabloid with links to the Russian security services, later reported that Dolgopolov's wife had suffered internal bleeding and a blunt stomach trauma following the beating. Both individuals had been drinking prior to the dispute, the report added.

Dolgopolov, who called an ambulance to the scene, initially blamed his wife's injuries on a bad fall, but medical staff remained unconvinced, eventually calling the police, LifeNews reported, without stating its sources.

Dolgopolov was taken into custody, and police have launched a criminal probe into the matter but are yet to press charges.

Dolgopolov enjoyed a successful career as a player for Zenit, having served with the club for more than 10 years and winning the league championship in 1984.

More recently, Dolgopolov in 2009 took over as manager of the club's veterans team.

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