Suspect in Michael Schumacher medical file theft found dead

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A man that was arrested Tuesday in Zurich, Switzerland over the suspected theft of Michael Schumacher’s medical files has been found dead in a prison cell according to city prosecutors.

The Associated Press reports that the man was found hanged in the cell this morning. He was set to appear at a hearing and had denied any wrongdoing.

The man’s name has not yet been released but it’s been confirmed that he worked for the Rega air ambulance service.

Rega organized the seven-time Formula One World Champion’s recent transfer from a hospital in Grenoble, France to Lausanne, Switzerland, where he’s began rehabilitation after his skiing accident on December 29, 2013.

Early in July, Rega lodged a criminal complaint over the leak of Schumacher’s medical files while adding that it had no knowledge of any misconduct from its employees. Schumacher’s family also filed a criminal complaint as well.

A subsequent investigation by Zurich prosecutors yielded Tuesday’s arrest of the Rega employee. Those prosecutors have said that their initial findings indicate no one else was involved and the case is now likely to be closed.

In a statement, Rega CEO Ernst Kohler said that the company has been left “sad and speechless” by today’s news. Kohler added that the company is giving its condolences and support to his relatives.

Last month, Schumacher’s manager, Sabine Kehm, first released a statement saying that someone was trying to sell her client’s medical files.

Kehm also said that the family would pursue criminal charges and damages against any media outlet that chose to use the confidential records for publication.

Schumacher was put into a months-long, medically-induced coma shortly after sustaining severe head injuries in his skiing accident in the French Alps. The racing great woke up from the coma this past June.

NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
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Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.