July 31, 2009 / 6:45 AM / 8 years ago

Ex-world champion Gatti committed suicide: police

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Former world champion Arturo Gatti committed suicide and was not murdered as initially suspected, a Brazilian police spokesman said on Thursday.

<p>Boxer Arturo Gatti listens at a news conference in Hoboken, New Jersey July 19, 2006. REUTERS/Teddy Blackburn</p>

The 37-year-old Canadian was found dead in a holiday flat in north-eastern Brazil earlier this month and his wife Amanda Rodrigues, who was primarily charged with his murder, has now been released.

“The police inquiry concluded that he committed suicide using the strap of a rucksack on a staircase in the early hours of the morning,” a police spokesman from Pernambuco state told Reuters by telephone.

Italian-born Gatti was found dead on July 11 in the flat the couple had rented in the seaside resort of Porto de Galinhas.

Rodrigues, 23, had been held in the city of Recife after Gatti died while the couple were on holiday in her native Brazil with their one-year-old son.

Nicknamed “Thunder,” Gatti was IBF super featherweight champion in 1995 and WBC super-lightweight champion in 2004. He retired in 2007 with a 40-9 record.

Reporting by Pedro Fonseca; Editing by John O'Brien; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com

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