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Belarus Konstantin Koltsov celebrates his team's first goal in front of Russian goalkeeper Ilya Bryzgalov during their quarter-final game in 2009. Image Credit: AFP

Miami: The death of former NHL ice hockey player Kontsantin Koltsov, the boyfriend of tennis star Aryna Sabalenka is being treated as an “apparent suicide”, Miami-Dade Police said on Tuesday.

Police spokesman Argemis Colome said in an email that on Monday police “were dispatched to the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, in reference to a male that jumped from a balcony.”

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Media reports said Koltsov and Sabalenka, also from Belarus, had been together since 2021. Image Credit: AFP

“The Miami-Dade Police Department, Homicide Bureau, responded and has taken over the investigation of the apparent suicide of Mr. Konstantin Koltsov. No foul play is suspected,” he added.

Koltsov, 42, a native of Belarus, went on to play and serve as an assistant coach for Salavat Yulaev of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League. The team confirmed his death in a statement Tuesday.

“He was a strong and cheerful person, he was loved and respected by players, colleagues, and fans,” read the team statement, translated from Russian.

“Konstantin Evgenievich forever wrote himself into the history of our club.

'Dearest person'

Koltsov won the Russian Championship and the Gagarin Cup as part of Salavat Yulaev, and did a great job on the team’s coaching staff.

“The hockey club ‘Salavat Yulaev’ expresses its condolences to the family and friends of Konstantin Evgenievich Koltsov. Bright memory ...” No cause of death was released. The Daily Express of Great Britain reported Koltsov died in Miami, where Sabalenka was scheduled to open play in the Miami Open this week as the No. 2 seed. The report said her name has been taken off all practice schedules, but tournament officials had not commented on her participation as of Tuesday morning.

Media reports said Koltsov and Sabalenka, also from Belarus, had been together since 2021. Last April, she posted a touching birthday message to Koltsov on Instagram that included a series of photos of them together.

“Happy birthday my love,” she wrote in a note translated from Russian and sprinkled with heart emojis. “You are my dearest person, my best friend and my strongest support. Peace be with you, strength, patience and health. I hope we will have everything we planned. I love you.” Koltsov, a forward, played 144 games with the Penguins over three seasons from 2002-06. He had 38 points (12 goals, 26 assists) in his NHL career. The Penguins selected him with the 18th overall pick in the 1999 NHL Draft.

He played with both Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby in his final season in Pittsburgh. He alsorepresented Belarus in the 2002 and 2010 Winter Olympics and in nine world championships.