By James Crook

Elena IvaschenkoJune 17 - The coach of Russian judoka Elena Ivashchenko, who was found dead on Saturday (June 15), has claimed that she took her own life because of her failure to win a medal at last Olympic Games in London.

The four-time European champion is believed to have thrown herself from the 15th floor of an apartment block in the Siberian city of Tyumen at the weekend, resulting in her death at the age of just 28.

Her body was reportedly found with her passport and a suicide note.

Director of the Tyumen Judo Olympic training centre Vyacheslav Yurlov claimed to local media that Ivashchenko chose to take her own life after suffering with severe depression after her Olympic dreams were shattered in London at the quarter-final stage by Cuban judoka Idalys Ortiz, who went on to take gold in the women's +78 kilogram category.

"Elena Ivashchenko was a beautiful, kind and sociable person; a strong athlete on the mat but a fragile girl off it," Yurlov said.

"Her depression started after her defeat at the Olympic Games.

"She really punished herself for it.

"Those athletes she lost to, she had beaten them before several times."

Ivashchenko Ortiz London 2012Ivashchenko's coach claims that she could not handle her defeat to Cuba's Idalys Ortiz in the quarter-final at London 2012, which led her to commit suicide

A statement was released by the European Judo Union (EJU) following the death, expressing their sorrow at the death of Ivashchenko.

"It is a terrible loss for Russian judo." they said.

"Elena was one of the strong pillars of the Russian women's team and in her category.

"The world of judo is sad but also proud on her sportsmanship she gave us.

"Her performances and her personality will be forever in our minds."

Last August, Sergei Ovchinnikov, coach of the Russian women's volleyball team at London 2012, also committed suicide following his team's defeat at the quarter-final stage of the Olympics after squandering six match points against Brazil, who went on to win the gold medal.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
August 2012: Russian volleyball coach "commits suicide" after London 2012 failure