The story of the most amazing marital union in Russian sports that connected a two-time Olympic rhythmic gymnast and a failed hockey star.
Eugenia Kanaeva – a beauty with an ideal reputation and champion character. Behind her fragile shoulders there are many brilliant victories in rhythmic gymnastics, including Olympic gold medals. Given the girl’s popularity, it seemed that she would be an ideal husband for any worthy man. But Kanaeva chose one of the most violent hockey players in modern Russian history – Igor Musatov.
Trauma connects the hearts
Musatov and Kanaeva met on a date with a traumatologist when they were healing wounds. In such cases, others say that love at first sight happened. In 2012, Musatov still showed promise in hockey, but has repeatedly appeared in drunken scandals. Before meeting his girlfriend, Igor was twice denied a driver’s license. In 2010 he started an argument in a Moscow cafe, but miraculously escaped arrest hiding in a toilet.
In 2011, the hockey player’s SUV tried to leave the patrol car at high speed. The chase ended when the athlete’s Mercedes flew into the restaurant. Fortunately no one was injured. Musatov was found dead drunk in the passenger seat. According to the official version, the car was driven by a friend of the athlete, who fled the scene after the accident. According to an unofficial version, which was never proven, Musatov drove the car, but after an accident he moved to the passenger seat.
Just a few days later, Igor Musatov, in a state of intoxication, hit the driver of the bus, who in his opinion “parked in the wrong way”. The incident took place near one of the restaurants in Moscow, where the hockey player and his friend were drinking again. Any illusions of Musatov escaped with him because of his athletic talent and connections. The fame of the future groom was dramatically different from the fame of the clever gymnast Evgenia Kanaeva. Nevertheless, in 2012, Musatov proposed to Kanaeva shortly after her victory at the London Olympics.
Evgenia Kanaeva and Igor Musatov.
Evgenia Kanaeva’s social networks
Noisy wedding in Moscow
The long-awaited wedding of Musatov and Kanaeva took place on June 8, 2013. It was talked about as the main social event of the summer. The event was attended by about 200 guests, including the country’s sports elite. The leader of Kazan “Ak Bars” Alexei Morozov witnessed the groom. And the bride’s close friends are the wonderful athletes Anastasia Bliznyuk, Uliana Donskova, Anastasia Maksimova, Anastasia Nazarenko and Ksenia Dudkina. “The bride was incredibly beautiful and dazzlingly young. And the groom is serious … Well, a lot!“- the head coach of the Russian rhythmic gymnastics team Irina Viner-Usmanova shared her impressions.
The wedding took place at the highest level and without exaggeration. Until then, friends and colleagues of the husbands said that Eugenia had managed to curb Igor’s violent temper. The hockey player has become calmer, more responsible and more focused on a sporting career. The newlyweds were given a honeymoon trip to the Adriatic Sea on a luxury yacht. Shortly after the wedding, Musatov and Kanaeva flew to Croatia. For a whole week they plowed the sea and enjoyed their honeymoon. And nine months later, the couple had a son, Vladimir. It seemed that the young parents found themselves in a romance that no one can but dream of. But by 2015, Musatov’s problems had reappeared.
Infamous end of career
In 2015, Igor’s athletic career plummeted. As a result, another drunken scandal involving a hockey player. Kanaeva’s husband refused to pay a bill of 1,700 rubles at a bar in Moscow. The managers of the store tried to solve the situation, but due to the inappropriate behavior of the athlete, they were forced to call the police. Law enforcement officers transported the hockey player to the Presnensky police station, where he allowed himself obscene language and threw his shoes at law enforcement officers.
Two years later, in 2017, Igor had another drunken quarrel in a restaurant. This time he had a gun with him. Fortunately no one was injured. But it was no longer just a wake-up call. After this incident, Musatov was left without a team. In 2018, they tried to find him a job at Dinamo Moscow. The hockey player was sent to get his uniform in the rural club – Voronezh “Buran”. But Musatov failed to gain a foothold on the team, having played zero games in the VHL.
By that time, it was clear that Musatov’s athletic career was over. Kanaeva’s husband had no savings. The hockey player took the money lightly, preferring to live in a big way. At different times in his career, he earned from 1 to 2.5 million rubles a month. He just wasted most of that money. Therefore, in 2018, Musatov had the idea to commit a financial fraud.
Tatyana Dorogutina, photo archive “SE”
Failed cryptocurrency seller
According to the investigation, Musatov met a young businessman in a Moscow restaurant. The men discussed investing in cryptocurrencies. A confidential conversation ensued between them and then they exchanged contacts. A few days later, Musatov called a new investor friend and offered to buy 104 bitcoin for 45 million rubles, explaining the sale by the fact that he and his wife urgently needed to buy a new apartment in central Moscow. The price was below market, so the businessman willingly agreed to the terms.
Musatov named the date of the meeting and the address of the bank where the transaction would take place. The buyer did not arrive alone, but with two collectors. It is true that only Musatov’s assistant dummy ended up in the office. The former hockey player was supposed to be in the meeting, but he was obviously late. The businessman then contacted Musatov by phone. Musatov said he was delayed due to traffic jams and offered to start working on the deal without him. The man trusted and handed over the cash to the assistant. He said the banknotes should be counted and checked for authenticity. To do this, he entered another room, closing the door tightly behind him. After a while, the buyer felt that something was wrong and decided to check the facility with the manager. But no one was there. No money, no person.
In the beginning, the deceived buyer decided to settle the situation on his own. He called Musatov and asked him to explain what had happened. The former hockey player promised a friend that he would talk to an assistant and return the money. But after that, Igor stopped coming in contact. The businessman turned to the police and the unfortunate scammer was put on the wanted list.
Igor Musatov was arrested in September 2019 and shortly afterwards the same assistant was arrested, who turned out to be the hockey player’s personal guide. At first both heroes denied their guilt, but then the driver began to cooperate with the investigation. He told police the bank was only rented for a few days for this scam. “Musatov persuaded me to take part in the project, promising a share of the total. In the beginning, the discussion was only about the fact that I was waiting on the street, someone else would take my money and take it to Musatov. But then things changed and Igor Maksimovich convinced me to play the role of his assistantSaid the accomplice.
The driver was eventually sentenced to two years in prison and released on parole. Musatov denied the obvious to the end. Despite facing up to ten years in prison. But the court sentenced the former athlete to four years in prison. A mitigating circumstance was a six-year-old son.
Daria Isaeva, Photo “SE”
To me the best man is my son
While Musatov played tricks, drank and tried to play hockey, Kanaeva built a successful post-athletic career and raised her son. It seemed that the athlete had almost forgotten her noisy husband. The situation with the fraud and the court finally ended the union of Kanaeva and Musatov. The couple divorced in 2018. Eugenia, as befits a modest and good-natured girl, does not advertise the details of family life and even expresses a slight respect for her ex-partner.
“I know there are many times when people meet, everything improves financially, even though it used to be bad. Everything has to fit. After all, love is a gift from God. Meeting your husband is a gift. I am happy to have a son and I am very grateful to this man (Igor Musatov. – Note. “SE”). Fate has brought me closer to him and I am grateful for all the good things. I left all the bad. I have a wonderful son, I really wanted a child. To me the best man is my son“, Said the athlete in an interview with SE.
Igor Musatov was released on parole on October 19, 2021. But already this year, he was charged in a new criminal case – for stealing 65 million rubles.