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Russian Silver Medal-Winning Diver Jumps to Death

December 30, 1995

MOSCOW (AP) _ Russian Olympic medal diver Elena Miroshina jumped to her death from a fifth-floor apartment, a police official said today.

Miroshina, 21, was found dead outside her 17-story building in the Mitino neighborhood in northwest Moscow on the morning of Dec. 18.

Maj. Sergei Bezzubov, an officer at the Mitino police station, said police first thought it was homicide. They later found an eyewitness, a woman who saw the young diver jump from her balcony between 6 and 7 a.m., he said.

Bezzubov said an autopsy revealed Miroshina, who retired in 1993 after spending more than half of her life as a diver, was drunk at the time.

Miroshina’s former teammates told the English-language Moscow Times that Miroshina had been married about a year, was four months pregnant and not a likely suicide.

``She wanted to have the baby and have a normal life,″ Vladimir Timoshinin, a 1988 Olympic contender and winner of the 1994 Goodwill Games 10-meter even, was quoted as saying Saturday.

``I’m certain that someone killed her,″ said Svetlana Timoshinina, the reigning 10-meter Russian national champion and the 1993 European women’s platform diving champion. ``She’s not the kind of person who would have jumped.″

Bezzubov, the police officer, said Miroshina was not pregnant, according to the autopsy. He also said she was unmarried.

The death of the diver has not been reported in Russian news media, and the reason for this was not immediately clear.

Miroshina won the silver medal in platform diving in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. She placed sixth in the same event in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.

In 1991, she won the European Championships in Athens, the FINA World Cup in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and the European Cup in Sheffield, England. She retired after the 1993 Russian national championships.

Miroshina’s death came less than a month after two-time figure skating gold medalist Sergei Grinkov died of a heart attack.