Two doctors who issued medical certificates declaring former Italy international footballer Davide Astori fit to play despite evidence he suffered from a heart condition prior to his death are under investigation for negligent homicide, the public prosecutor’s office in Florence confirmed on Monday.
Fiorentina captain Astori was found dead in his hotel room in the northeastern city of Udine on March 4 this year ahead of a Serie A match against Udinese.
An initial post mortem suggested the 31-year-old died from bradyarrhythmia –- when the heart slows so much it stops -– but the causes are unclear.
The doctors, who signed the fitness certificates which gave Astori the all-clear to play, work for public bodies in Florence and Cagliari, where the defender played for eight years.
The announcement of the investigation comes after Florence-based daily La Nazione published details of two electrocardiogram tests carried out on the player in July 2016 and July 2017.
Both reportedly showed anomalies, in particular the latter, which allegedly demonstrated that the player suffered from a ventricular extrasystole, or irregular heartbeats.
The documentation published by the newspaper has been handed over to the investigators.
Former Roma and AC Milan player Astori, the father of a two-year old girl, also played 14 times for Italy over a six-year international career.
Thousands of mourners holding banners and letting off smoke flares gathered in Florence on Thursday for the funeral of Fiorentina and Italy footballer Davide Astori.
The sudden death of the 31-year-old who captained his club has sparked an outpouring of grief in football-mad Italy.
One banner in the crowd read “Ciao captain”, another “Our captain forever”.
Children wearing Fiorentina’s distinctive purple formed a guard of honour outside the Santa Croce basilica in the city as Astori’s coffin was carried out after the service.
Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and his Juventus teammate Giorgio Chiellini were among the mourners having flow back from London where the Turin team dedicated their Champions League victory over Tottenham on Wednesday to Astori.
Chiellini after the match said: “We dedicate the win to him. He is on our minds on this day. I cried many times. He was a fantastic player.”
Fellow internationals Daniele De Rossi and Mario Balotelli were also among players present and the entire Fiorentina team, dressed in sober dark suits and ties, came to pay their respects.
Astori was found dead in a hotel room in Udine on Sunday ahead of Fiorentina’s Serie A match against Udinese.
A post-mortem examination has found he most likely died from a cardiac arrest linked to the slowing of his heart rate.
Fiorentina and Astori’s former club Cagliari have said they will retire his number 13 shirt in his honour.
Italian footballer Davide Astori likely died from a cardiac arrest linked to the slowing of his heart rate, Italian media reported on Tuesday following the initial results of his autopsy.
The 31-year-old Fiorentina captain and Italy international was found dead in his hotel room in Udine on Sunday ahead of a scheduled Serie A match against Udinese, which was later postponed.
Doctors who carried out the player’s autopsy referred to a “cardiac arrest without a visible explanation, in all likelihood due to a bradyarrhythmia (slow heart rate)”, Corriere dello Sport and Tuttosport reported.
“We won’t have the definitive diagnosis for two months (and then) we will be able to say with certainty that there was no detectable cause or any other element of any type,” Udine prosecutor Antonio de Nicolo said.
De Nicolo was quoted Sunday as saying Astori died of “natural causes” after a “cardiac circulatory collapse” — a type of heart attack, which the autopsy appears to confirm.
Astori’s body will be taken to the Italian football association’s national training centre in Coverciano, Florence, where people will be able to play their last respects to the defender.
His funeral will be held at the Santa Croce basilica on Thursday before his burial near Bergamo, in northern Italy, where Astori grew up and his parents still live.
A judicial inquiry had been launched following the death of 31-year-old Italian footballer Davide Astori, whose autopsy is expected to be carried out later in the day.
Italy was in shock following the sudden death of the captain of Fiorentina who played for his country 14 times.
“We have opened a manslaughter investigation, against X for the moment,” Antonio de Nicolo, a magistrate in the northeastern city of Udine, told Rai radio, adding that such a procedure was “mandatory”.
He also said arrangements were in place to perform an autopsy, which according to Italian media, including Gazzetta dello Sport, will be done later on Monday.
Astori was found dead in a hotel room on Sunday in Udine, where his team was due to play Udinese in a Serie A match.
De Nicolo was quoted Sunday as saying Astori died of “natural causes” after a “cardiac circulatory collapse” — a type of heart attack.
All seven matches in Italy’s top flight on Sunday were postponed following the news of Astori’s death.
The Italian league postponed all seven Serie A matches scheduled for Sunday after the overnight death of Davide Astori, the Fiorentina captain.
The game between Udinese and Fiorentina, where Astori was due to play, had been called off in the morning, as had the early kick off between Genoa and Cagliari, which was abandoned when players learned the news while warming up on the pitch.
Astori, who was 31, died in his hotel room in Udine.
The other five games postponed were Atalanta v Sampdoria, Benevento v Verona, Chievo v Sassuolo, Torino v Crotone and AC Milan v Inter Milan.