Former boxing champion Edwin Valero, who gained fame for knocking out all his 27 opponents and having a tattoo of Hugo Chavez on his chest, was found dead in his jail cell Monday and police said he hanged himself after being arrested in his wife's murder.

The former lightweight champion used his own clothes to hang himself from a bar in his cell early Monday, Venezuelan Federal Police Chief Wilmer Flores told reporters. Valero's lawyer, Milda Mora, confirmed that Valero had committed suicide saying he used the sweat pants he was wearing.

Flores said Valero was found by another inmate, who alerted authorities in the police lockup in north-central Carabobo state. Valero still showed signs of life when they took him down, but they were unable to save him and he died about 1:30 a.m., Flores said.

The 28-year-old was detained Sunday on suspicion of stabbing his wife to death. Prosecutors said Sunday night that they had planned to charge Valero in the killing. Valero was detained after police found the body of his 24-year-old wife in a hotel in Valencia. The boxer left the hotel room and allegedly told security he had killed Jennifer Carolina Viera, Flores said.


Federation: Dead racer at fault

The international luge federation blamed the death of Georgian racer Nodar Kumaritashvili on his driving mistakes, saying a "complex series of interrelated events" led to the fatal crash during a training run at the Vancouver Olympics.

"Nodar did commit driving errors starting in curve 15-16, which as an accumulation ended in the impact that resulted in him leaving the track and subsequently hitting a post," the federation said in a report Monday, adding that "blunt force trauma to the base of his skull" caused the fatality.

The federation said that the wall on the left side of the finishing curve of the Whistler track "was deemed to have been correctly calculated and constructed to handle a crash in this area and to prevent the departure from the track by an athlete [under normal crash situations]."


Berman to stay at ESPN

Chris Berman signed a multiyear contract extension to stay with ESPN. The network said Monday he would remain its host for NFL studio shows. Berman joined ESPN in October 1979, less than a month after the network launched.


College basketball: Duke's Kyle Singler, the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four, announced he will return to school for his senior season. ... BYU guard Jimmer Fredette entered his name in the 2010 NBA draft but will keep his college eligibility by not hiring an agent. ... Colorado hired Tad Boyle to take over its men's basketball program. ... Lorenzo Romar is staying put at Washington, agreeing to a new 10-year contract. ... Fred Hill resigned as Rutgers basketball coach and its leading scorer Mike Rosario is transferring to Florida.

Soccer: Kyle Rote Jr., the North American Soccer League's 1973 rookie of the year, was elected to the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame on the veteran ballot. Rote Jr. will be inducted along with former national team players Thomas Dooley and Preki Radosavljevic, and former national team coach Bruce Arena,.

Tennis: Rafael Nadal is skipping the Barcelona Open this week to rest, which means he won't defend his title at a tournament he has won the past five years. ... David Nalbandian will miss the next two ATP Tour events because of an injured left hamstring. ... American tennis player Wayne Odesnik has accepted "a voluntary provisional suspension" from all events after pleading guilty last month to importing human growth hormone into Australia.

Bowling: Marion Ladewig, who dominated women's bowling from the mid-1940s until her retirement in 1963, has died. She was 95.