by Francis Jacuzzi, TYDN Sauna Affairs Writer
HEINOLA, Finland -- (TYDN) The police here are investigating the death of a Russian man at the Sauna World Championships who died while trying to endure 230-degree heat, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.
The authorities told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity early Monday that a contest organizer is suspected of urinating on the sauna's searing hot stove, filling the chamber with a deadly, toxic plume. Analysts said it was the worst death in the Sauna World Championships following 2008, when event organizers scrubbed the competition's combined hamburger eating contest.
Witnesses and officials said Vladimir Ladyzhenskiy, an amateur wrestler who was in his 60s, was pronounced dead late Sunday after he collapsed alongside reigning champion Timo Kaukonen of Finland roughly six minutes into the final round.
On Sunday, thousands gathered in this southern town of Heinola to watch 130 competitors from 15 countries, waving flags and cheering on the contestants before medical workers pulled the two shaking and bleeding finalists out of the hot box. Video footage shows workers pouring cold water over the two men and administering first aid as organizers tried to cover up the scene and calm spectators, who had come to see the 11th annual event.
Kaukonen, the defending world champion, was listed in stable condition at a local hospital. But the authorities suspect that Ladyzhenskiy's death was no ordinary sauna accident.
Local police, in exclusive interviews with TheYellowDailyNews, said a contest worker responsible for pouring a pint of water on the stove every 30 seconds is being held for questioning. Although human urine is composed of roughly 95 percent water, the remaining chemicals of urea, chloride, sodium, potassium and creatinine can be deadly when inhaled, medical experts told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity.
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