Winner dies in Russian "vodka marathon,"
MOSCOW (AFP) - The alcohol-hardened winner of a vodka drinking marathon in southwest Russia outpaced all his rivals, but failed to collect his prize of ten bottles of the prized spirit -- after dying on the spot, ITAR-TASS reported. The other five competitors ended up in emergency care in hospital, and prosecutors in the city of Volgodonsk have filed charges of involuntary homicide against the organisers of the weekend drinking contest, the news agency added.
The participants of the event, which took place in a bar, were invited to down half-litre glasses of the Russian national drink and refill as much as they could from buckets filled to the brim with vodka. The rules allowed them to accompany the vodka, as is traditional in Russia, with sausage, black bread and mustard. The organisers will also be charged with breaking the law on advertising, which forbids staging events which promote the consumption of alcohol. The report did not say how much the contest casualties had drunk. In 2002, 40,000 Russians died from alcohol poisoning and it is not uncommon for Russian males to down a litre of the liquid on a night out.
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